Dumb and dumber robbers get prison sentences
DENVER – Two Australian men whose bumbling robbery of a Vail bank earned them the nicknames “Dumb and Dumber” in the Australian press were sentenced to prison Friday by a federal judge who said an inept bank robbery is still a serious crime.Anthony Prince, 20, was sentenced to 4 1/2 years and Luke Carroll, 19, was sentenced to five years, and U.S. District Judge Phillip Figa ordered them to pay combined restitution of $21,657 after pleading guilty to the March robbery of WestStar Bank in Vail. That much of the $129,500 the two stole is still missing, prosecutors said.Defense attorneys had sought lighter sentences, saying the unsophisticated nature of the crime, plus the defendants’ youth, should have held more weight with the judge.”All bank robberies are lunacy,” the judge said. “But to suggest one is even more stupid because it was ineptly planned does not sit well with the court.”Both men, who had come to the United States last fall to work in the resort town, expressed regret and remorse for their actions and apologized to the two bank tellers who were on duty when they used unloaded BB guns to help them make away with $129,500.”What I did was greedy and selfish but I’m still not sure why I did it,” Prince said as his and Carroll’s parents looked on. “All I can say is I knew better, I was raised better.”Carroll’s sentence was longer because he threw one of the bank tellers to the floor, causing a minor injury. He said he wishes he could go back to the time just before the robbery with the knowledge he has now of the consequences.”I hope if not now, somehow in the future, you can take into your hearts to forgive me,” he said to the two tellers who were also in the courtroom. “I can’t describe how remorseful I am. It’s a life sentence that I’ve imposed on myself.”Carroll and Prince, a New Zealander with permanent Australian residency, both pleaded guilty in June to robbing the WestStar bank with a BB gun and made their escape on a nearby chairlift using their ski passes, giving authorities proof they were near the bank at the time of the robbery. Each faced up to 25 years in prison and a fine up to $250,000.Prosecutors asked for at least seven-year sentences for each, saying it was a vicious crime that terrorized the two tellers.”Legal arguments sanitize what happened,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg Holloway. “We can’t forget there were two people inside this bank who thought they were going to die.”Parents of Carroll and Prince told the judge they and other members of their family and community were shocked to hear their sons were arrested in a bank robbery, and urged the judge to give them a chance to return home soon to begin psychological treatment and start to rebuild their lives.Jenny Price recalled the first phone conversation she had with her son after his arrest.”He cried and cried,” she said. “He only found relief in the acknowledgment that neither the tellers nor any bystanders were harmed.”The men were arrested at Denver International Airport the day after the robbery when a police officer recognized them from an FBI flyer. Vail police had identified them quickly because the tellers recognized them from their accents. The men held accounts at the bank, defense attorney Dan Smith said.Witnesses said during the robbery, Prince and Carroll wore badges similar to ones worn by staff at the ski shop where they worked.When they were arrested, Prince was carrying about $13,500 and Carroll had $7,600 with him, the FBI has said. Investigators found $28,000 in their bags and a backpack holding $26,000 was found in a garbage can in the airport parking garage. They also tried to mail $6,000 to Australia and bought more than $11,000 worth of jewelry, the FBI has said.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.
Now more than ever, your financial support is critical to help us keep our communities informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having on our residents and businesses. Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.
Your donation will be used exclusively to support quality, local journalism.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User