Robber arrested when using debit card

March 5, 2009 5:45:26 AM PST
Would-be robbers take note: Don't use your debit card during a holdup.

A West Virginia man who police say attempted to rob a convenience store instead ended up buying a soft drink with his debit card - ultimately leading to his arrest.

Shawn Thomas Lester, 33, told the store clerk Monday he had a gun and wanted all the money in the register, police said. But the suspect got flustered when a customer walked in and the clerk told him to pay for the soft drink.

Lester handed over his debit card, then signed the receipt "John Doe" and left without any cash.

Police traced the debit card and found Lester, of Charleston. He told police he was only joking when he said he had a gun and demanded money.

He was charged with armed robbery in Kanawha County, according to a criminal complaint.

It was not clear whether Lester had an attorney. His phone number was unlisted.

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