One-Time Nominee for World’s Dumbest Criminal Strikes Again

Valdez Convention & Visitors’ Bureau
Valdez Convention & Visitors’ Bureau

A hapless bank robber captured easily five years ago after handing the teller a demand note with his name and birthdate written on the back, has been arrested again over a similarly ham-handed attempt to hold up the very same location, using a near-identical M.O., according to court filings.

On May 22, 2018, Michael Gale Nash robbed the First National Bank of Alaska (FNBA) branch at 201 W. 36th Ave. in Anchorage, and was sentenced to a prison term of 12 months and a day. In that case, Nash was apprehended while sitting on the curb directly outside the building, counting the $400 he made off with, police said.

On Tuesday, Nash—who has appeared on at least one “world’s dumbest criminals” list—was again captured outside the FNBA branch at 201 W. 36th Ave., in a Groundhog Day-esque rerun of his previous heist, states a criminal complaint unsealed Tuesday in Anchorage federal court. Nash’s court-appointed lawyer, Jamie McGrady, did not respond to a request for comment.

In his latest alleged foul-up, Nash, 49, showed up Oct. 2 at the FNBA branch on W. 36th Ave, just after 9 a.m., according to the complaint.

“Witnesses stated Nash attempted to access the bank through the main door by pulling on the door several times,” the complaint says. “Two employees attempted to tell Nash the bank did not open until 10:00 am. Nash refused to leave and slipped a note through the doors to a bank supervisor. The supervisor saw the word ‘robbery’ and immediately yelled for the bank door to be locked via [a] secondary locking mechanism and to call 911.”

But instead of running away, Nash stayed firmly put, according to the complaint. Bank employees on the inside then started contacting colleagues who hadn’t yet arrived for work and warned them about Nash, who some “feared… would take an arriving employee outside the bank or a customer ‘hostage,’” the complaint states. That’s when a security guard in the bank walked up to the door and told Nash that if he didn’t leave, the police would be called.

“Nash replied that he would not be departing and to go ahead and call the police,” the complaint continues.

Officers with the Anchorage PD arrived moments later, and confronted Nash at the bank entrance, the complaint says. The cops ordered Nash to the ground, and he “eventually” complied, according to the complaint. While Nash was being arrested, he “made an excited utterance along the lines of this not being [his] first time robbing a bank,” the complaint goes on.

A snippet from the criminal complaint charging Michael Gale Nash with bank robbery.
U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska

The FBI joined the investigation and, along with the Anchorage officers, began to interview witnesses and examine evidence. They reviewed the note Nash allegedly slipped through the door, which read, “This is a robbery—put the money in a bag & I will walk out. This is a robbery. God help us all.” (According to court filings, the note Nash passed in the 2018 read, “This is a hold up. Please put the money they want in the bag. God help us!!!”)

Nash refused to speak to investigators, but continued to make comments during the booking process “along the lines of this not being [his] first bank robbery,” according to the complaint.

“FBI Anchorage ran [a] records check for Michael Gale Nash,” the complaint states. “The records check revealed that Nash was arrested, charged, and convicted for robbing the same FNB[A] at 201 W. 36th Avenue, Anchorage, AK 99503 in 2018.”

For the 2018 robbery, Nash was given a 366-day prison term followed by five years of supervised release. It is unclear if Nash was still under court supervision at the time of Monday’s arrest. His rap sheet includes past convictions for larceny, forgery, DWI, and a 1996 court-martial—indicating a stint in the military—for distribution of drugs, according to the complaint in the 2018 case.

Following his arrest on Monday, Nash remains detained at the Anchorage Correctional Center, jail records show. His next scheduled court appearance has not yet been added to the docket. If convicted, Nash faces a maximum sentence of 20 years.

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