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Friday, 10 February 2012

Bank Robber

The first bank robbery in United States history took place during the night of Saturday, August 31 or the morning hours of Sunday, September 1, 1798. An enormous sum of $162,821 was stolen from vaults of the Bank of Pennsylvania at Carpenters' Hall in Philadelphia. The robber was Isaac Davis, a member of the Carpenters' Company. Davis and a partner, who died of yellow fever within days of the robbery. Confronted with questions about his sudden wealth, Davis was promised a pardon in return for full disclosure and full restitution. He apparently never served a day in prison

Edward Smith was the first indicted bank robber in the U.S. On March 19, 1831, Smith stole $245,000 from the City Bank of New York, using a set of copied keys. He spent $60,000 before he was caught and sentenced to five years hard labor on the rock pile at Sing Sing Prison.

The Tiflis bank robbery was an armed robbery of a bank stagecoach on June  26, 1907 in the city of Tiflis (now Georgia's capital, Tbilisi). The robbery was organized by a number of top-level Bolsheviks, including Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin, and executed by a party of revolutionaries led by Stalin's early associate Ter-Petrosian (Kamo). The robbers attacked a bank stagecoach and surrounding police and military using bombs and guns while the stagecoach was transporting money through Yerevan Square (now Freedom Square) between the post office and the Tiflis branch of the State Bank of the Russian Empire. They escaped with 341,000 rubles (equivalent to around $3.86 million in 2017).

The first armed robbery using a "getaway car" took place in Paris on December 21, 1911 when four members of the Bonnot Gang used a Delaunay-Belleville automobile they had stolen a week before to escape after robbing a courier who was bringing cash to the Société Générale Bank. They got booty equal to 5,126 francs, but the rest of it was composed of securities.

The first robbery by Bonnot's Gang on December 21, 1911

Bank robber John Wojtowicz plotted some of his robbery based on scenes in  the 1972 Al Pacino-starring movie, The Godfather. Al Pacino later went on to play Wojtowicz in the 1975 film  Dog Day Afternoon based on the robbery.

On January 22, 1976, a guerrilla force blasted into the vaults of the British Bank of the Middle East in Bab Idriss, cleaning out the contents of the safe deposit. The boxes of cash and other valuables were estimated by former finance minister Lucien Dahdah at $50 million. It was the single most lucrative bank robbery in history, occurring during the worst civil unrest period ever in Beirut, Lebanon.

Jonathan Hensleigh, the writer of the 1995 movie Die Hard With a Vengeance, was interrogated by the FBI over his screenplay. The plot Hensleigh devised to rob the bank was so plausible, the FBI wanted to know where he got his information.

In 1995 a bank robber in Florida was asked to wait while the cash he demanded was brought. He waited 20 minutes to find police waiting outside.

The largest ever bank robbery involved thieves digging a 256 foot-long tunnel 13 foot below street level, which ended directly underneath the Banco Central in Fortaleza, Brazil, on August 6, 2005. The thieves seized 3.5 tons of bank notes worth about R$ 160 million. In the aftermath of the burglary, of the 25 persons thought to be involved, just eight had been arrested, and about R$20 million recovered.

Andre Stander, a South African policeman and criminal, robbed banks on his lunch break and often returned as the investigating officer.

The world's oldest convicted bank robber is J.L. Hunter Rountree. At the age of 91 he stole $1,999 (£1,243) from a Texas bank. He was sentenced to 151 months and died in prison a year later.

"Sutton's Law", which states "that when diagnosing, one should consider the obvious" is named after the famous American bank robber, Willie Sutton. When Sutton was asked "Why do you rob banks?" he replied, "Because that’s where the money is."

A man tried to rob two banks after covering his face with lemon juice in the mistaken belief that, because lemon juice is usable as invisible ink, it would prevent his face from being recorded on surveillance cameras.

A bank robbery that takes place out of office hours is classed as a mere burglary in the UK.

Every day, 20 banks are robbed and an average of $2,500 is taken.

Half of all bank robberies take place on a Friday.

The most common time for a bank robbery is Friday, between 9 and 11 a.m. The least likely time is Wednesday, between 3 and 6 p.m.

Sources US History,

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