Bank robbery

Bank robbery

Bank robbery is the crime of robbing a bank. It is also called a bank heist, especially in the United StatesFact|date=September 2008. Theft which lacks intimidation or threat of violent confrontation is not truly a robbery but in fact burglary. Only a very few bank heists are burglaries.


Canadian Illustrated News] According to the Independence Hall Association in Philadelphia, the first bank robbery in America happened during the night of August 31 or the early morning of September 1 1798 at the Bank of Pennsylvania at Carpenters' Hall. The vaults were apparently robbed of $162,821, or approximately $1.8 million in 2006 dollars. Because no forced entry evidence existed, authorities assumed it was an "inside" job. Several suspects were immediately imprisoned and prosecuted, but the culprits eventually charged were a man, Isaac Davis, and a partner. Within days of the heist, Davis' partner fell victim to a plague of yellow fever that ravaged Philadelphia that summer.

During the American Civil War, raiders from both Union and Confederate armies robbed banks in enemy-controlled towns. These robberies were at the time regarded as legitimate acts of war, but many of the raiders carried on robbing banks in the post-war era, giving rise to the famous robber gangs of the late 19th century.

Historical Bank Robbers

In the early twentieth century Willie Sutton was asked why he robbed banks and he famously answered "Because that's where the money is." [ [ Willie Sutton] ] Another famous bank robber was John Dillinger, who committed bank robbery crimes in mid-western America. Some considered him a dangerous criminal, while others idolized him as a supposed present-day Robin Hood. He gained this latter reputation (and the nickname "Jackrabbit") for his graceful movements during bank heists, such as leaping over the counter (a movement he supposedly copied from the movies) and many narrow getaways from police. On July 22, 1934 in Chicago, Illinois, Dillinger was cornered by FBI agents in an alley outside of a movie theater, drew a pistol against them, and died at that location of gunshot wounds.


While it is likely but not certain that the first time someone robs a bank they will not be caught, it is highly likely that if they continue they will be caught. Due to modern security measures like high resolution color security cameras, silent alarms, exploding dye packs, and locator devices, [ [ GPS leads police to loot from bank robbery] ] bank robberies are now much more difficult. [ [ Jefferson is hit hardest in metro bank robbery spree] ] Few criminals are able to make a successful living out of bank robbery over the long run, since each attempt increases the probability that they will be identified and caught. Today most organized crime groups tend to make their money by other means, such as drug trafficking, gambling, loan sharking, identity theft, or online scamming and phishing. Bank robberies are still fairly common and are indeed successful, although eventually many bank robbers are found and arrested. A report by the Federal Bureau of Investigation [ [ Bank Robbery in the United States] ] states that, among Category I serious crimes, the arrest rate for bank robbery in 2001 was second only to that of murder.

A further factor making bank robbery unattractive for criminals in the United States is the severity with which it is prosecuted. Accounts at all US banks are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, a corporation of the federal government, bringing bank robbery under federal jurisdiction and involving the FBI. Federal sentencing guidelines for bank robbery mandate long prison terms, which are usually further enhanced by the use or carrying of loaded firearms, prior criminal convictions, and the absence of parole from the federal prison system. As with any type of robbery, the fact that bank robbery is also inherently a violent crime typically causes corrections administrators to place imprisoned bank robbers in harsher high-security institutions.


In half of the robberies a note is shown to the teller, in the other half an oral demand is made. In one quarter of robberies a firearm is used, usually a handgun, while in half a weapon is threatened. Only a small percentage are burglaries of the vault, only 51 out of 7,000 bank heists in the US in 2006. Even fewer used a "depository trap". Acts of violence occur only rarely, 4.5% of the time, but can be very violent when they do occur.Fact|date=July 2008 See, for example the North Hollywood shootout.

In popular culture

Ever since the "glory days" of the great bank robberies during the 19th century, bank robberies have become ingrained into American popular culture. Numerous films, books, and songs have been written about the crime, which is the crime of choice for villains everywhere in comic books, pulp adventure and crime stories, and even cartoons. Many western films and television shows include bank robbery. As with jewelry robberies, bank robberies spike after these are shown.Fact|date=July 2008 The incidence of bank robberies is less pronounced in many other countries despite less security.Fact|date=July 2008 It is believed that the cultural differences may be the reason. Fact|date=July 2008

:"See also: Heist film and "

ee also

*List of famous bank robbers and robberies


External links

* [ Armed Robbery Training Manuals, Online Training]
* [ Chelembra bank Robbery, India]
* [ FBI Bank Crime Statistics] 2003
* [ FBI Bank Crime Statistics] 2004
* [ FBI Bank Crime Statistics] 2005
* [ FBI Bank Crime Statistics] 2006
* [ FBI Bank Crime Statistics] 2007 Q1
* [ FBI Bank Crime Statistics] 2007 Q2
* [ FBI Bank Crime Statistics] 2007 Q3

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