In 1968 — a few months after the movie “Bonnie and Clyde” swept the nation — a few Staples seniors and friends thought it would be cool to imitate the legendary outlaws.
The high school campus was open; students came and went as they pleased during free periods (and sometimes during not-so-frees). It was spring; giddiness filled the air. Hey, why not?!
Five guys dressed up like ’20s gangsters. They drove downtown, sauntered into Westport Bank & Trust — now Patagonia — and, with a “getaway car” idling outside, pulled out a fake .38 pistol and said, “Stick ‘em up!”
A few customers scrambled for cover. The tellers didn’t know what to think, but eventually realized it was just a prank. Cops were called, and hauled the Gang of 5 across the street to the police station.
The Westport Town Crier covered the “let’s pretend” robbery jovially. They described the teenagers’ suits and fedoras in detail.
Times sure have changed. Banks — not to mention the ATF, FBI and NSA — don’t look kindly on fake stick-ups.
If this stunt happened today, a full-scale investigation would be held. School administrators and the Board of Education can’t have kids dressed as bank robbers leaving school in the middle of the day, then pretending to rob a bank.
And the Westport Police would certainly not allow 5 teenagers, dressed in fedoras and holding cigarettes, to pose jauntily in the station lobby, looking like they’ve just pulled off the heist of the century.