‘Courteous’ bank robber offered help | VailDaily.com

‘Courteous’ bank robber offered help

AP Photo Lawrence Lawson is shown in court July 24, 2006, in Troy, Mich. Lawson was released from prison Sunday.

TROY, Mich. ” An unemployed man who said he tried to rob a bank so he would get caught and sent to jail was freed after less than a year and was considering job and housing offers to get him back on his feet.

Lawrence Lawson, 61, had pleaded guilty in a deal with prosecutors, and was released from the Oakland County Jail on Sunday.

He was arrested last July after he took $4,900 from a teller at a LaSalle Bank branch in the Detroit suburb of Troy, then pretended to pass out in the bank vestibule.

He said he did it because he wanted to go to jail without a struggle.

“It was a dumb thing to do,” Lawson said after his release. “I was looking for food and lodging ” in the wrong way.

“I’ve apologized in court and to everyone else.”

Lawson said he had been laid off as an automotive designer and had tried to find another job before deciding jail was better than life on the streets.

Even Oakland County Prosecutor David Gorcyca sympathized with Lawson’s situation, saying he had been caught up in the state’s economic woes. He dubbed Lawson the “courteous bandit” and made a public plea for aid to help him.

Lawson’s lawyer, Todd Kaluzny, said his client is considering offers of housing and two managerial-type positions but declined to provide details.

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