From the “not-too-bright criminals” file:

A Clarksville, Tennessee man had it all planned out: he would rob a bank, pay off his family’s bills, and then flee south of the border. Unfortunately, he forgot one minor detail: that perfect getaway to Mexico now requires a passport. If you plan to make your great escape by plane, you’ll need your passport before they’ll let you board. Driving across the border beyond the 20 to 30 kilometer “border zone” also requires a passport. Plus, you are required to show your passport when you re-enter the US.

I don’t know if Mr. Fred Emile Berquez Jr. had been watching too many old action movies or what, but obviously the whole “rob a bank and flee across the border” thing has gotten a lot more complicated since the golden age of Hollywood.

To give credit where credit is due, he did manage to rob the bank successfully. However, he neglected to get a new passport first. Naturally, the bank robbery attracted a good deal of publicity. So, in an attempt to get out of town quickly without leaving his family high and dry, Mr. Berquez paid off three months of overdue rent and his electric bill, then drove to Paducah, Kentucky to try to get a passport. After speaking with his presumably very angry wife, however, he realized he had no shot at making it to Mexico and was going to have to turn himself in. Clarksville Police Department Spokesman Officer Jim Knoll explained what happened next in the Leaf Chronicle:

“He had already spent a large amount of the stolen money and decided that he might be able to recoup some of it by gambling at the casino boat. That idea did not work out so well, and he lost all of the remaining money except for $100, which he used to get back to Clarksville and turn himself in to police.”


For more about passport requirements for travel to Mexico, see Do You Need a Passport to Go to Mexico?


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