The bank robber was courteous, decorating his written demand with a smiley face.
But he wasn't clever.
His note to the teller was written on his pay stub. And while he carefully blackened out his name and address with indelible marker, Bensalem police could decipher them.
"It wasn't a huge forensic undertaking," said Steven Moran, the township's director of public safety. "We just put it under a light."
Michael Drennon, 26, of Philadelphia, was charged by the FBI on Monday with robbing the Wachovia Bank on Bristol Pike in Bensalem on Friday.
Police said Drennon, who was living in a halfway house on Luzerne Street while on probation, slipped the teller a note written on the back of a pay stub from an Aramingo Avenue car wash.
"I would appreciate if you don't try anything funny..." the note read. "I need all loose bills of 20s, 50s, 100 dollar bills, the quicker the better."
Instead of a period, he punctuated the sentence with a smiley face.
Drennon produced no weapon, police said. He left the bank with about $2,500. He had about $1,800 on him when he was arrested.
Court records show Drennon was sentenced in 1999 to 11 to 23 months in prison for a robbery in Philadelphia. In 2003, he pleaded guilty in federal court to possessing a firearm, which he was not allowed to have because of his felony conviction. He was on probation for the federal offense when the bank robbery occurred. He was being held yesterday at the federal detention center in Philadelphia pending a hearing tomorrow.