I came across this news story the other day and, well, it spoke to me.
By Johnny Dodd
Saturday September 25, 2010 11:45 AM EDT
Erica Anderson, 37, went into an Umpqua Bank branch in Grants Pass, Ore., on the afternoon of Sept. 20, and handed the teller a note demanding cash – with one special request, according to police.
“The note also instructed the teller to wait 15 minutes before calling law enforcement or else two kids wouldn’t make it home from school,” says Detective Sgt. Dennis Ward.
Anderson fled the bank with $1,300 with Joshua K. Deeter Tseu, 19, driving the getaway car, says Ward, and the officers who responded within minutes were baffled and concerned by the note, fearing children were in danger.
Instead, says Ward, "She didn’t want to be late picking up her kids.”
A resident who witnessed the pair’s getaway provided the cops with enough information to track down Anderson. She was arrested in her driveway, not long after picking up her kids at a local elementary school. Both her daughters were munching on ice cream bars when officers arrived at the scene.
Anderson reportedly appeared concerned about what might happen to her daughters following her arrest. “But I guess if she was really all that concerned about their welfare,” adds Ward, “she probably wouldn’t be committing bank robbery.”
Both Anderson and Tseu are being held on $50,000 bail and are charged with first-degree theft and second-degree robbery.
“We average between three and five bank robberies a year,” says Ward. “But I don’t think I’ve ever heard of anything quite like this.”
The things we do for a little spending money.
Actually, my guess is this woman had one of three reasons for doing what she did:
On her way to school to pick up her kids she remembered her promise from just that morning......
"Sweetie, listen to mommy. If you can go the entire day without having your color changed mommy will take you to Sonic."
"Can I get a Route 44?"
"No, that's a little big or a little girl your age..."
">"And can I get some tater tots?"
">"Well, we will be eating dinner around 6..."
"And can I get a small popcorn chicken?"
"You better say I can have those things or I promise you I will go to the principle's office again and you can't stop me!!!"
And before you know it she whipped into the first Regions Bank she saw and the rest is history. I don't know about you but a.) a kid can break you at Sonic and b.) No momma in her right mind wants the school secretary having her on speed-dial. Its worth a felony.
She found it. She had finally found it. For the last 6 weeks of school she had spent every day looking for the first and only library book her child had checked out. All the other kids checked out a book on a weekly basis. But not hers. Nope. Her child has lost the first library book they had brought home. Actually they didn't so much "lose" it as they used the pages in it to line their hamster cage. She discovered that this morning when she went to feed said hamster and save him from a life of dehydration and starvation. And that's where she spotted it. Pages 2, 4, 6, 9, 11 and 13 of The Mine-O-Saur were lining the floor of a hamster cage. And so she knew what was coming. There could be no more avoiding the school librarian who walked her child to the car every afternoon asking the same high pitched question day after day, "Wellllll, did we find our bookyloo today?" She could only pretend to talk on her cell phone so many times in an effort to avoid. But not today. Today she knew the book had been found and it was time to fess up. But to do so would mean paying that dadgum fine. And to pay a fine for a book that had been missing for 35 days would mean.........you guessed it.....robbing a bank.
There were t-shirts being sold by the PTA. There were cookies being sold by the band. She had ordered two mums and they were ready to be picked up. Not to mention the three new magazines and the Chinese cook-book that was being sold to send the no good 6th graders to Washington. She still owed money for her child's field trip and she owed at least $20 for lunch money on the days when they were running so late that lunch got left. There was the $40 in Scholastic books that had been purchased, $15 for a Red Ribbon week t-shirt and a $20 gift card for the school teacher during Teacher Appreciation week. She thought of the never-ending payments that she had to make for her child to attend a free public school and it brought tears to her eyes and an idea to her mind. Sure she could pay for these things, but first she had to make a quick little pit-stop.
No matter her reason (but #3 rings true for me) there's a part of me that says "You go, Mom!" But there's also a part of me that says, "Really? You weren't afraid to rob a bank but you were afraid to pick your children up late from school?" Something tells me either her priorities are off or the teacher who watches over the kids being picked up is one scary son of a gun.
But I'm not one to judge. Trust me, I am a pen and piece of scrap paper away from doing something absurd myself half the time. But I wouldn't terrorize a local business or a lowly teller. I'd take down those 6th graders who are bleeding me dry so they can go kick back in a La Quinta on the outskirts of Washington.
But that's just me.