Holiday nightmare for bungling bandits
By SAMANTHA TURNBULL
LUKE CARROLL and Anthony Prince were just two Byron Bay surfers wanting an overseas adventure.
The 19-year-olds, who have been described by friends as popular, fun-loving, average students have now become international celebrities ? but for all the wrong reasons.
The pair, who have been labelled 'dumb and dumber' by Sydney and Gold Coast newspapers, are being held in a Denver prison in the US after allegedly using BB pellet guns to rob $US130,000 ($A168,000) from a bank in Vail, Colorado.
If convicted, the teens may not get back to their home town until they reach their mid-40s.
The families of both men have been devastated by the news and were unwilling to comment when swamped with calls from the world's media outlets this week.
The childhood friends travelled to the US last November to work in a sports store and spend their spare time snowboarding on the slopes of Colorado.
They were arrested while waiting for a flight to Mexico in a security line at the Denver International Airport.
Carroll's former St John's Woodlawn College classmate, Dan Jensen, of Modanville, said the only part of the incredible story that made sense was the claim the pair used snowboards as their getaway vehicles.
"I knew he liked snowboarding and he was a bit of a larrikin," Dan said. "But this is a surprise. He was a pretty sociable and cool sort of guy."
Carroll's friend, Ben Greiner, of Lennox Head, said he was a quiet student who preferred the company of his surfing mates outside of school.
"I wouldn't say he was a trouble-maker at all, he tried hard at school," he said.
"He just liked to surf with his friends from Byron Bay."
Carroll and Prince will be held in custody until their week-long trial, scheduled to begin on May 31.