How not to rob a bank
(Jesse James Jones)
Here are some lessons learned from the experiences of a number of would-be bank robbers.
Pick the Right Bank:
You don't want to make the same mistake as the fellow in Anaheim, Calif., who tried to hold up a bank that was no longer in business and had no money.
Study Your History:
Don't try to stick up the First National Bank of Northfield, Minnesota. Jesse James tried it 111 years ago, and the townsfolk took just seven minutes to kill two and capture three of his gang. Nobody tried again until 1984, and the customers chased the guy down. They're tight with their dollar, those Minnesotans.
Speak to the Right Teller:
One robber in Upland, Calif., presented his note to the teller. Her father, who was in the next line, got all bent out of shape about it. He wrestled the guy to the ground and sat on him until authorities arrived.
Don't Sign Your Demand Note:
A demand note was written on the back of a subpoena issued in the name of a bank robber in Pittsburgh... on an envelope bearing the name and address of another in Detroit, and in East Hartford, Conn., on the back of a withdrawal slip giving the robber's signature and account number.
Go Easy on the Disguise:
One robber, dressed as a woman with very heavy make up, ran face first into a glass door. He was the first criminal ever to be positively identified by lip-print.
Take Right Turns Only:
Avoid the sad fate of the thieves in Florida who took a wrong turn into the Homestead Air Force Base, drove up to a military police guardhouse, and thinking it was a tollbooth offered the security police money.
Be Aware of the Time:
Imagine the chagrin of the bank robber in Cheshire, Mass., who hit the bank at 4:30 p.m., then tried to escape through downtown North Adams, where he was trapped in rush-hour traffic until police arrived.
Consider Another Line of Work:
Bank robbery is not for everyone. One nervous Newport, R.I., robber, while trying to stuff his ill-gotten gains into his shirt pocket, shot himself in the head and died instantly.
Then there was the case of the hopeful criminal in Swansea, Mass., who when the teller told him she had no money, fainted. He was still unconscious when the police arrived. His get-away car parked nearby had the keys locked inside.