Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Book Review: BANK ROBBERY FOR BEGINNERS by Anthony Prince
Binding: Trade Paperback
Pub. Date: 01-11-2010
Category: Biography: General
Imprint: Macmillan Australia
Stock: New, Available
Price: $34.99 AUD
They were tagged Dumb and Dumber by the US media in a story that made headlines – and jokes – around the world. Two Australian boys on a working holiday in the snowfields of the American Rocky Mountains decided to rob a bank. Their plan was so hopelessly inept that although they escaped with over US$130,000 after threatening bank staff with a replica pistol, the trail of clues they left ensured they were identified almost immediately. Among the many things they did wrong was to rob a bank where they were regular customers (staff instantly recognized them and their impossible-to-disguise Australian accents), to tip a taxi driver $20,000, and then to photograph themselves holding up bundles of the stolen money, all before attempting to buy one way tickets to Mexico in cash. From the moment the alarm was raised, it took the Vail Police department all of eight minutes to identify the two boys as the culprits
But what started as two young larrikins planning something stupid soon became deadly serious as both Anthony Prince and his partner Luke Carroll faced life imprisonment for armed robbery. Their youth, previous good behavior and obvious remorse persuaded the US court to give them a reduced sentence but they were still to serve almost five years in some of America's most violent penitentiaries.
Anthony Prince grew up in NSW's Northern Rivers district. After his release from prison in the US he returned to Byron Bay and is about to finish a university business degree.
I had first heard about Anthony Prince like most people through the media and the label of Dumb and Dumber. With such a claim to fame, the story of these two guys had to be a tale worth reading, and this book didn’t disappoint.
While I don’t believe anyone should be able to profit from writing a book about a crime they have committed (any profit should go to the criminal’s victims and not the criminal), I did want to read about this crime and hear how these two gained such a pathetic title for their deeds.
It was interesting to read Prince’s story and how he committed a crime to try and get the means to run away from another crime that he had already been suspected of. The book was very honest and it was apparent that Prince and his partner in crime were not just two mislead lads committing a spur of the moment crime.
Prince also details life in prison with great clarity and detail, which was very interesting and a contrast from some of the images you see in movies.
This book is worth reading to see the consequences of crime.