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Opinion >  Column

Doug Clark: Robber to be commended for sustainability act

It’s Sustainable September, folks, which makes it the perfect time to give a little credit to those who are going the extra mile for the planet.

In that regard, I can’t think of anyone who deserves to be singled out more than the serial bank robber known for fleeing the scene on a bicycle.

Authorities believe our Bike Banking Bandit may have nailed at least six local banks since December.

Far be it from me to extol anyone’s aberrant behavior, but that’s what I call a roll model.

Oh, sure, a lot of people flap their gums about “going green.” But how many smug “environmentalists” are committed enough to incorporate their eco-concerns into their criminal misdeeds?

Didn’t think so.

This hoodlum is a rare cross between John Dillinger and Ed Begley Jr.

Police describe the perpetrator as white, about 6 feet tall, and in his 30s. He also has a slim build so it’s quite possible the man could be vegan as well as felon.

I’ve logged a lot of time over the years studying documentaries like “Heat” and “Public Enemies.” This extensive research has led me to conclude that bank robbery, out of all crimes, may leave the biggest carbon footprint.

That, of course, is due to the prominent role of the “getaway car.”

Back when gas was cheap bank robbers like Pretty Boy Floyd and Johnny Depp thought nothing of leaving their getaway rides running while they were inside making unlawful withdrawals. The inevitable Bonnie and Clyde car chase would only magnify this shocking waste of fossil fuels.

But we’re living in a far more enlightened age.

Thanks to scientists like Al Gore, we’ve learned that Earth is heating up faster than a microwaved Costco chicken bake. If the trend continues, pretty soon the ice caps will melt and all the creamy filling and bacon bits will ooze out.

The point is that we all need to get involved if we’re going to save the planet. Just because you go around yelling “Stick ’em up!” for a living doesn’t mean you can’t pitch in.

Take all those drug store Oxycontin robbers, for example.

Come on. Would it kill any of you shabby dopers to bring a reusable bag next time you decide to pull a knife at the pharmacy pickup window?

Speaking of which, the other day we reported that a masked gunman robbed a Wells Fargo bank in Coeur d’Alene. Before escaping via bicycle, the guy put his loot in a white reusable cloth grocery bag emblazoned with an American flag and words: “Freedom is not free.”

But get this: Those investigating the case do not believe this was the handiwork of our guy.

If these guys ever team up they could pull their jobs on a tandem.

That got me thinking. If the editors ever wise up and I have to rob banks to supplement my unemployment checks, I’d take recycling even further.

DOUG“Oh, and while you’re emptying your cash drawers, make sure to pass back my ‘Gimme yer money!’ note.”

TELLER“What? Is this some kinda joke?”

DOUG“Nope. It’s Sustainable September. Just tryin’ to save a few trees.”

Doug Clark is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review. He can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or by e-mail at

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