The suspect, 40-year-old Thomas Infante, walked into a Chicago bank and handed a teller a threatening note saying: "Be Quick Be Quit (quiet). Give your cash or I'll shoot."
He got $400 but failed to consider was that the note was written on the back of his own pay stub that had been torn in half.
The other half of the pay stub, which was found outside the bank, had Infante's name and address.
Police said they had known some strange bank robberies but none quite like this one.
FBI spokesman Ross Rice said: "It's fairly unusual that we see something that specifically stupid."
Infante was later arrested at his home in Cary, Illinois, and later admitted the robbery.
If convicted, he could be jailed for up to 20 years.
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