Bank-Robbing Pennsylvania Grandmother Pleads Guilty, Avoids 5 to 10 Years in Jail

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Granny's got a gun — but she may not do much time for using it to rob a bank.

A 76-year-old grandmother, Marilyn Devine of Baldwin, Pa., who held up a bank with an unloaded pistol to get money for her broke son pleaded guilty on Thursday in order to comply with a deal that would allow her to avoid major jail time, reports The Associated Press.

Prosecutors agreed not to fight for the mandatory five-to-10-year prison sentence if Devine entered a guilty plea. The grandma might still be slapped with time in the slammer at her June 27 sentencing hearing, however.

Her lawyer and her family hope that all Devine walks away with as punishment is probation.

"I don't think she's a threat to society," relative Susan McDade said. "She doesn't belong in prison. She's a good soul. This was just a tremendous act of desperation to try to help someone in need. Misguided, but she didn't hurt anybody."

On March 6, 2006, Devine walked into a supermarket National City Bank branch in the Pittsburgh suburb of West Mifflin and held it up with the unloaded handgun. She stole almost $6,000 from two of the bank's tellers before embarking on a car chase with police at 45 mph through residential streets.

"Mrs. Devine was suffering from depression and anxiety herself when this happened," attorney Noah Geary said. "Her youngest son called and said he was going to do himself in if he didn't come up with some money. He was in dire financial straits. ... She felt trapped and helpless, had no access to any moneys."

Authorities managed to recover the stolen money.

Devine's husband, Raymond, a retired warehouse worker, said he didn't know his wife had taken out $25,000 to $30,000 in loans in recent years to help their son. Raymond Devine said he only learned about the loans when his wife failed to make payments on them.

And From the Stupid Criminals File ...

DE QUEEN, Ark. (AP) — A ruse worked for a De Queen man who used his brother's name after being picked up for another drunken-driving charge until he called his brother and asked him to bail him out of jail.

Police said an officer arrested Sebastian Nabor, 28, early Sunday after the car Nabor was driving hit a curb. When Officer Ernesto Echevarria smelled alcohol and found an open container of beer in the car, Nabor gave his name as Antonio Moreno Nabor.

The suspect failed a field sobriety test and a breath test showed a blood-alcohol level of 0.11 percent, above Arkansas' legal limit for drivers of 0.08 percent.

Nabor was charged with driving while intoxicated and called his brother to bail him out. As the paperwork was being processed, officers realized the arrested man had given the wrong name.

Sebastian Nabor was also charged with criminal impersonation.

"Everybody tries it. People give us false names in case warrants of arrest have been issued or they owe other fines," De Queen Police Chief Richard McKinley said.

Everything Plus the Kitchen Sink

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — An online ad offering everything in the house for free left one landlord with quite a shock. By the time she realized what was going on, the house had been stripped of its light fixtures, hot water heater — even the kitchen sink.

Laurie Raye said she traced the damage to a fake ad on craigslist, a San Francisco-based Internet site for classifieds.

"The instigator who published this ad invited the public to come in and vandalize me," Raye told Seattle television station KING. She said the rental home wasn't occupied at the time because she had recently evicted a tenant, but it had other items inside.

Even the front door and a vinyl window were pilfered, Raye said.

"In the ad, it said come and take what you want. Everything is free," she said. "Please help yourself to anything on the property."

Raye said she contacted craigslist and received an e-mail saying officials would need a subpoena or search warrant to release information about who posted the ad.

The online hoax isn't unusual, investigators said.

"We've had a lot of scams," Tacoma police Detective Gretchen Ellis said. "We've had prostitution things happen, rental scams, fraudulent activity. In this case, it appeared the items were going to be given away, but they were not."

Craigslist officials did not immediately respond Thursday to a request for comment by The Associated Press.

Mama, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Beggars

NEW YORK (AP) — Police say an unemployed suburban mother of five found a quick way to make ends meet: turning her children into panhandlers.

Antoinette Jones, 37, pleaded not guilty to endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor, at an arraignment Tuesday in Yonkers, a New York City suburb. A judge issued an order that bars her from her five children, and released her without bail.

It was not immediately known where the children were placed. Police said the case was referred to Child Protective Services, but agency officials declined to comment.

Police said they discovered the panhandling when Jones' 11-year-old son was reported missing at a Pathmark supermarket Monday night.

When police arrived, Jones' 18-year-old daughter told them that her mother had made them walk several miles from their home to the supermarket, where they were told to stand outside and beg for money, police said.

The boy returned to the store several hours later; police didn't know where he had gone.

The 18-year-old told police her mother frequently forced the children to beg at stores, saying they often picked up $30 to $40 at a time.

Jones and her daughter were taken to the police precinct, where the mother was arrested. She told police she was on public assistance.

Jones' attorney, Joseph Cosgrove of Hartsdale, declined to comment.

Compiled by's Catherine Donaldson-Evans.

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