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N.Y. Mother Attempts To Rob Bank

September 30, 2000

NEW YORK (AP) _ A would-be bank robber chose an odd getaway vehicle _ a slow-moving city bus.

Valerie Coletti, 41, allegedly collected $8,300 in cash from a bank in Brooklyn and made her escape on a bus. The bus was stopped by police about a block from the bank, and Coletti, a mother of two college-age sons, was arrested.

The bungled robbery happened Friday at about 10:30 a.m., when Coletti allegedly strode to a teller’s window, holding a blue bag and pointing a black gun at the teller, police said.

After Coletti got the money and left the bank, an employee ran out and flagged a police van from the 61st Precinct.

``The employee said, ’We’ve just been robbed, and the lady who robbed us is on the city bus that just passed you,‴ said Police Officer Jeff Childs. The cops went after the bus.

With a description of the robber, Childs boarded the bus about a block from the bank. The bus was full, but Childs zeroed in on a woman sitting in the last row.

``She didn’t move, she didn’t say a word,″ Childs said.

Childs approached her and ordered the woman to put her hands up.

Police recovered two pellet guns from the woman.

Police said Coletti told them she took the bus because she didn’t have money for a cab. The Brooklyn resident remained in federal custody Friday night.

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