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Friday, June 3, 2011

The Young Adult Brain in Action! Tales from the Amherst, Massachusetts Police Blotter:*

A Bonnie & Clyde Bank Heist, Amherst Style. In April, a young middle class couple, William Oldershaw, 24, of Sunderland and Shayna Henckel-Miller, 19, of Amherst allegedly conspired to rob Amherst’s highest-profile bank, The Bank of America. Oldershaw walked into the bank weaponless with a note that Henkel-Miller allegedly had helped him write, and handed it to a teller, who presented him with $249. He then exited the bank, where his accomplice waited in the escape vehicle—a TAXI CAB, which the police intercepted several miles down the road. An official at the BOA told Wig & Pen that both suspects had accounts at the bank.

Oldershaw’s Hedge. According to Amherst Police detective David Foster, Oldershaw believed that his request for $249 would yield less legal trouble [should something possibly go wrong]. If you steal $250 or more in Massachusetts, you can go to state prison for five years; If you keep the tab below $250, your maximum sentence is a year in a county jail. Unfortunately for Oldershaw, the state distinguishes between stealing and robbery, the latter (the above caper included) defined as taking something held or controlled by another person (maximum sentence: life in prison).
The Case of the Missing Key. In late April, Amherst police arrested Jeremy Michael Gilbreath, 22, of Wayland shortly after giving him—an alleged assault victim—a courtesy ride. The arrest came after police determined he had allegedly stolen a pair of police handcuffs from the cruiser. To his misfortune, he had neglected to swipe the key that went with the cuffs [if ever there were complementary goods. . .]. After he cuffed a women later that night, she phoned the police, who liberated her and took Gilbreath into custody.

Craftsmanship by Smith & Wesson

Wig & Pen Pontificates: It’s no accident that auto insurers wait until a driver is 25 to begin lowering rates. Their m.o. is not just about driving experience but the way that the Young Adult Brain (YAB) handles risk. Indeed, the YAB is not the cat’s pajamas when it comes to risk assessment/due diligence. Compounding the fracture is that YABs are especially vulnerable in a culture that emphasizes dreams-come-true while coddling aspirations with selective rosy evidence over critical thinking and falsification.

Say what? You’re also wondering why this blog has failed to note that robbing a bank and handcuffing an unenthusiastic victim are WRONG? If this has not yet occurred to you, think twice when your own young adult offspring tells you that he or she plans to make a bank withdrawal.

*Consider all assertions about the alleged perps to be alleged by the Amherst Police Department except where otherwise noted.


Alan Root said...

As a visitor to Walpole maximum security prison in Massachusetts, I got to know many well-known incarcerated criminals such as Albert DeSalvo, the so-called Boston Strangler and Jim Faherty, convicted in Boston's famed Brinks Robbery. I never recommend bank robberies as a career since over 60% of them fail. Indeed, the underlying aim in most solved crimes is self-punishment. At $50,000 per year per prisoner, it would cost nearly 75% less to confine convicted felons in a very different but secure setting.

bonnie said...

*William Oldershaw, not Michael.
*Neither suspect had an account with the bank.

Wig & Pen said...

Thanks to Bonnie for setting the record straight: the perp was William, not Michael Oldershaw. Better a year late than never.

Bonnie also notes that my contention that William and Shayna had accounts at the bank was in error. My info was from a younger officer at the bank. As far as I'm concerned, Bonnie's contention is as believable as his. (plus, it seems that Bonnie has inside information.)