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Tree Robber Hits NH Bank

John S. Burnett, Associate Editor

Tree branches disguised the robber of a bank branch in Manchester, New Hampshire, on Saturday, July 7. Television news anchors fell all over themselves trying to pun-ch the story up with arboreal references. Even one of Manchester's Finest, police sergeant Ernie Goodno, suggested that the robber "really went out on a limb."

James Coldwell should probably have decided to "leaf" the Citizens Bank branch alone. It was quickly apparent who the "budding" holdup artist was as soon as police released photos from the bank's surveillance cameras. Parts of Coldwell's face were visible through the sparse branches and greenery duct-taped to his trunk. Although police K-9 units brought in on Saturday were clearly "barking" up the wrong tree, an anonymous tipster who saw the news story on television gave officials Coldwell's name, and police made an arrest late Saturday evening.

There's just one more, we promise: News reports didn't indicate whether Coldwell has "roots" in the Manchester community. He was found in an area homeless shelter.

You'll find a video from Boston TV station WHDH that includes the bank's surveillance photos, here.

First published on 7/12/2007

First published on 07/12/2007

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