& # 39; Cowboy & # 39; who robbed the German bank with a toy shooter from prison after he was arrested in California
& # 39; Cowboy & # 39; robbed German bank with a toy shooter … then fled to the Wild West! Thief says: & # 39; I've seen too many westerns & # 39; while being imprisoned after being arrested in California
- Armed robber Thomas T, 61, admits & # 39; I have probably seen too many westerns & # 39;
- The bricklayer from Berlin had spent four years on the lamb in California
- Bank staff initially thought he was joking until he pulled the toy gun on it
A man who robbed a bank in Munich was imprisoned in Germany four years after he was arrested by the US police in California.
On January 16, 2015, Berlin's bricklayer Thomas T, 61, entered the Sparkasse bank in Fahrenzhausen, north of Munich, wearing a cowboy hat, a checkered shirt and armed with a toy gun with six gunmen, before he started holding up the bank and escape with 36,800 euros.
On Monday, he was convicted of armed robbery and sentenced to four and a half years in prison in Germany, including the time he spent in California after extradition from the US.
Thomas T caught CCTV recordings robbing the Sparkasse bank near Munich in January 2015
& # 39; That was an idiot idea & # 39 ;, said Thomas at the start of his trial, as reported by the German newspaper Bild, & # 39; I have probably seen too many westerns in my youth & # 39 ;.
Two weeks after the raid, Thomas boarded a plane to California, where he settled in Joshua Tree National Park, a location known as the set of many Spaghetti Westerns.
Thomas told the court that he robbed the bank because he & # 39; was in trouble with the tax office & # 39;
& # 39; I took my hat and grabbed the replica weapon & # 39 ;, he said: & # 39; I'm not proud of that & # 39 ;.
Thomas claims that he bought a van, clothing and tools in California from the proceeds of the robbery and began to live the rest of his days in his western fairy tale.
But while Thomas enjoyed his new life in California, it was just beginning to approach him in Bavaria.
Before he robbed the bank, Thomas had paid several bills and his neighbors recognized him from camera images released by the Bavarian police.
The Sparkasse bank in Fahrenzhausen robbed by Thomas T in January 2015
His data was passed on to Interpol, and on April 3 of this year, police from the Sen Bernadino District arrested Thomas in a store in Joshua Tree.
& # 39; I was in the county prison for four months, locked up with 48 men, & # 39; the defendant recalled, claiming that he used to be a Stasi prisoner after trying to escape from former Soviet-run East Germany.
& # 39; One was hit every night, & # 39; he said.
Bild reported that although Thomas had enjoyed his years on the run, his crime had a significant impact on the bank staff he kept at gunpoint.
Bank clerk Christina R, 24, said that when she first saw him, the bank tellers thought he was in fancy dress.
& # 39; I asked how much he wanted to withdraw, & # 39; she said, & # 39; and then he drew his gun. & # 39;
Only after Thomas told her not to press the silent alarm button on the couch did she realize it wasn't a joke.
Thomas T. apologized in court for the suffering he had caused.
& # 39; I was not comfortable doing it, & # 39; he said, & # 39; but I didn't think of anything better that day. & # 39;
After his imprisonment, Thomas T said he hopes to get closer to his daughter, who now has a child.
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