Uh, shouldn't this be locked?

Let's say you slip into a bank that's closed for the weekend. What would happen to you? Right: You'd probably be handcuffed and on your way to the police station in short order. For Oliver Pettigrew, though, it resulted in a cash windfall, and not because he cracked the safe and got away before the cops arrived. Oliver, who is 5, was with his parents when they stopped at the automated teller machine outside the HSBC branch bank in Easingwold, England, last Saturday. While they were busy withdrawing some money, their son decided to try the front door ... and found it unlocked. He wandered inside, seeing no one else since business hours had ended at 4:30 the previous afternoon and wouldn't resume until Monday morning. Then he went back out and announced, "Dad, the bank is open." Daniel Pettigrew confirmed his son's report, walking right up to the vault. "There were computers ... lying around," he said. "Anyone could have stolen them." So Daniel used a telephone to inform the police. When word reached HSBC, it blamed a "malfunction with the door catch" and insisted that security cameras would have alerted its London headquarters to any unauthorized entry. Depositors, it said, could rest assured that their funds were never at risk. As for Oliver, he received a letter of appreciation and a complimentary $20 savings account.

of stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read of 5 free stories

Only $1 for your first month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.