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JANUARY 2009

K
FEBRUARY 2011

PRINT & TEACH LESSON

POLITE ROBBER
Language Function:
Grammar Focus:
Vocabulary / Topic:

reporting what other people said; reading comprehension; discusing issues


reporting speech; reporting words
crime

advanced
upper-intermediate
intermediate
pre-intermediate

focus on reading
Activity 1. Read the text below and check it these statements are true or false.
1. Gregory Hess robbed a petrol station in
Seattle.
2. He stole a cup of coffee and $300.
3. Gregory Hess fired a gun to scare the owner of
the petrol station.

4. John Henry has never been robbed before.


5. The robber was very polite towards Mr. Henry.
6. Mr. Hess was caught by the police because
the robbery had been recorded by the petrol
stations CCTV camera.

Robber with perfect manners


coffee. Then he pulled a gun out of his pocket and
calmly asked the man behind the counter to empty
the cash register.
John Henry says hes been robbed four times in the
five years he has owned the Shell station but never
by someone as well-mannered as the man that
walked into his convenience store. Despite the
weapon, Mr. Henry insists that Hess remained as
polite as possible throughout, even apologising
before he fled with the money.
Good manners cost nothing as the saying goes, in
fact they netted Gregory Hess $3000 and the title of
the Worlds Politest Armed Robber. One Saturday
morning in February 2011, the 65-year-old entered a
Shell petrol station in Seattle and bought a cup of

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The strange robbery scene was captured on the


petrol stations CCTV footage and has been posted
on the internet - giving Hess a cult following and the
police hard evidence which led to Mr Hesss arrest
the following Monday.

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JANUARY 2009

POLITE ROBBER

focus on talking
Activity 2. Read the transcript of the dialogue between Gregory Hess and John Henry. Do you think Mr.
Hess should receive a lesser sentence because of his polite behaviour?
Gregory Hess:

Can you do me a favor?

John Henry:

Yes.

Gregory Hess:

Could you empty that till for me, please. Put it right here.

John Henry:

What did you mean?

Gregory Hess:

Empty the till, and put it right here. Cause Im robbing you, sir.

John Henry:

Are you sure?

Gregory Hess:

Yes, Im sure.

John Henry:

Why do you want to do that?

Gregory Hess:

Because I need the money. I have kids that need to be fed, sir. Im
really sorry to have to do this but Ive got kids.

John Henry:

How about I give you $40 and this is it?

Gregory Hess:

Well, I cant do that, sir. Ive got rent to pay, Ive got bills, and the
kids need to eat.

John Henry gives Gregory Hess the money

Gregory Hess:

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Thank you very much. I appreciate it and really am sorry. And if I


ever get back on my feet again sir, Ill bring it back.

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JANUARY 2009

POLITE ROBBER

focus on grammar: reported speech revision


When we tell people what other people have said, we use reported speech. In reported speech
we change tenses:
We report statements most often with verbs like: say and tell, but
we can also use other reporting verbs such as: offer, promise,
refuse, suggest, etc.
He said (that) he would talk to me. = He refused to talk to me.

am / is

>

was

are

>

were

do / does

>

did

have / has

>

had

did

>

had done

will

>

would

When we report YES/NO questions, we use if or whether.


Have you sent the letter? > She asked me if I had sent the letter.

can

>

could

When we report commands, we use infinitives


Go home. > She asked me to go home.

When we report questions, we use verb ask. We must also


remember that a reported question doesnt have the question word
order.
Where are you? > He asked me where I was.

Activity 3. Report the conversation between Gregory Hess and John Henry.
Gregory Hess asked the shop owner if ...............................................................................................
...............................................................................................................................................................
...............................................................................................................................................................
...............................................................................................................................................................
...............................................................................................................................................................
...............................................................................................................................................................
...............................................................................................................................................................
...............................................................................................................................................................
...............................................................................................................................................................
...............................................................................................................................................................
...............................................................................................................................................................
...............................................................................................................................................................

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JANUARY 2009

POLITE ROBBER

focus on vocabulary
Activity 4. Complete the sentence beginnings with appropriate endings.
1. Good manners cost nothing means ...
A. ... that polite social behaviour is worth
nothing.

B. ... that polite social behaviour is an easy


way to improve our relations with others.

2. When someone nets something, they ...


A. ... catch, obtain or earn it.

B. ... lose the chance of having something.

3. A counter is ...
A. ... a small electronic device used for
counting in a shop.

B. ... a long surface over which goods are


sold in a shop.

4. A cash register is ...


A. ... a machine used in shops, etc that has a
drawer for keeping money in, and displays
the price of each thing that is sold.

B. ... a person who is responsible for keeping


money in a shop.

5. A convenience store is ...


A. ... a place where you can buy petrol.

B. ... a shop that sells food, household items,


etc and stays open longer than other shops.

6. When someone fled, they ...


A. ... ran away.

B. .. were caught.

7. Footage is ...
A. ... the raw, unedited material that was
recorded by a camera.
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B. ... a series of short extracts from a film of


television programme.
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JANUARY 2009

POLITE ROBBER

focus on vocabulary: crimes


Activity 5. Match the names of crimes with their definitions.
burglary

blackmail

forgery

fraud

kidnapping

libel

manslaughter

robbery

shoplifting

smuggling

terrorism

theft

1. breaking into someones house and steal from it


2. bringing something illegally into a country
3. using violence for political aims
4. deceiving other people to get money illegally
5. killing someone but not intentionally
6. taking someone away by force in order to obtain money in return for releasing them
7. producing an illegal copy of something, e.g. a document, signature, banknote
8. taking property from a person or place illegally, usually using force
9. an act of stealing something
10. stealing things from a shop by intentionally leaving without paying for them
11. demanding money from someone in return for not revealing secret or unpleasant
information about them
12. damaging someones reputation by publishing a false statement

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