It wasn't a joke even though some bank employees thought it was. And the robber had no chance of getting away with it—it was his bank and the employees knew who he was. Besides, he didn't want to make a getaway; he wanted to wait for police to come.
The robbery occurred on Friday around 1:30 p.m. at the AmeriServ bank in Northern Cambria, Pennsylvania. It is alleged Jeffrey McMullen, 50, a regular customer of the financial institution, walked up to one of the tellers and wrote out a note demanding the sum of $1.
The teller was not quite sure what was going on. She thought it was a joke. Since she couldn't figure out what was happening, she told the would-be robber to go to the next window and he dutifully complied.
McMullen became angry when the second teller also thought he was joking. Sgt. Isaac Hassen, of the Northern Cambria Borough Police Department, is quoted in The Tribune-Democrat as saying the second teller was told "to give him the money so no one got hurt."
McMullen also said he wanted the police to come and he would wait for them. He eventually talked to a new accounts manager. When he again made his demand for money, she took a dollar out of her purse and gave it to him.
Huffington Post reports McMullen wrote out two holdup notes. The first one read, "FBI custody. Preferbly (sic) Loretto Pa. No press. Seal all files." Apparently, this was his way of saying he wanted to go to a federal prison, "preferbly" the Federal Correctional Institution in central Pennsylvania, about 90 miles east of Pittsburgh. The institution is described by the Federal Bureau of Prisons as being "a low security facility." And McMullen did not want any coverage in the media about how he spent his Friday afternoon at the bank.
The second note read, "Federal bank robbery. Please hand over $1.00."
McMullen was arraigned before a District Judge who set his bond at $50,000. But before he can be released, McMullen must undergo a mental examination.
Police are unsure exactly why the 50-year-old, who has no local criminal record, wants to go to a federal prison.