Senior makes slow getaway

Posted: Tuesday, June 10, 2003

LAND O'LAKES, Fla. (AP) A would-be bank robber thought he was in the clear when he made a clean getaway in a minivan.

But Denise Garcia wasn't about to let him get away.

Frank Durante had walked into a bank, ran out with a stack of cash and worried only about not exceeding the speed limit as he drove away.

Garcia, who was outside the bank waiting for her son to pick up his paycheck from a nearby grocery store, had noticed Durante, 72, running with several employees in pursuit. So she chased Durante in her SUV, got his license plate number and called police.

Minutes later, Durante was in custody. He was being held early Friday without bond on robbery charges.

Garcia said she began crying when police arrested Durante.

''I thought, ''What makes a man of this age want to do something like that?''' Garcia said.

Durante says he committed the robbery because he was distraught over a divorce.

''I'll never see the light of day,'' Durante said. ''I'm a four-time loser. They're going to throw the book at me.''

Durante said he had spent 23 years of his life in federal prisons in Georgia, Connecticut and California. He also said he robbed a Kokomo, Ind. bank two weeks ago.

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