Bank Robbers That Shook The World
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Bank robbery is the crime of stealing from a bank while bank employees, and usually bystanders, are subjected to force, violence or the threat of violence. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program, robbery is “the taking or attempting to take anything of value from the care, custody, or control of a person or persons by force or threat of force or violence and/or by putting the victim in fear.” By contrast, burglary is defined as, “unlawful entry of a structure to commit a felony or theft.” Bank robbery is therefore defined as entering a bank when it is open and obtaining money either by using force or the threat of force. Breaking into a bank when it is closed is burglary. Here then are 10 interesting stories involving banks and the people who took from them.
10. We all know the last thing you wanna do if you rob a bank is BLAB ABOUT IT. But that’s exactly what 19-year-old Hannah Sabata of Nebraska did… ON YOUTUBE NO LESS! REALLY! In an 8-minute video she posted to YouTube – titled Chick Bank Robber — Hannah didn’t speak a word, but used signs to let viewers know what she had just done. The signs indicated just as her description of the video, which read, “I just stole a car and robbed a bank. Now I’m rich, I can pay off my college financial aid and tomorrow I’m going for a shopping spree!” She also smoked weed in the video and called viewers some very ugly names. She then showed a huge wad of money – over $6,000. She later told police… uhhh, you DID know that was coming, right?… that the gun she used to hold up the bank was fake and no one was ever in any danger. So after the police got involved, a judge did… and then iron bars did. Maybe she can do it next stupid video behind them.
9. It’s truly a shame the United States doesn’t have free healthcare, but in a way, it does… in prison. James Verone, 59, of North Carolina, was having some serious medical problems and he knew he couldn’t pay for the outrageous medical treatment he so desperately needed. However, he realized, if he were in prison, he would be able to receive free care. So Verone took a cab to a random RBC bank and handed the teller a note that demanded she hand over to him one dollar and get him medical attention. Unfortunately, the amount he demanded was not enough to send him to prison and he went without any medical treatment. So remember, if you want to rob a bank to get free prison healthcare, make it count.
8. Russell Cooper, 77, of Boynton Beach, Fla., was not happy at all when a PNC bank manager told him his account would be closed because of “consistent lack of funds.” All he wanted was $130, after all, but enough was enough. Cooper whipped out a pocket knife and threatened to cut the manager if his demands were not met. The amount was then handed over to Cooper, who while using his walker, attempted to escape while holding the manager hostage at gunpoint. When police arrived and one officer unsuccessfully tried to get Cooper to drop his knife, a second officer snuck up from behind and tasered the elderly man. He was taken to jail and charged with armed robbery and kidnapping. We just hope he had his teeth in to keep his dignity.
7. A little old lady in New York tried a different approach while robbing a banks. She used what appeared to be a glass of water and told the teller it was acid that she would splash on him if he did not comply with her demands. The grey-haired lady tilted up the glass to show the teller it contained liquid which could have been acid. In a note, she expressed to the teller that she had two other men in the crowded bank who would shoot customers if he did not give her the money. The money was give to her and she got away. The next month, she did the same thing at a different bank in the same area. But this time, the vice president of the bank observed what the woman was doing and had a security guard grab and detain her. She calmly surrendered. And the glass of clear liquid? Was it acid? Your guess is as good as ours.
6. Robert Toye was a Robin Hood, of sorts. He would steal from banks and give much of the stolen loot to charities. But what’s even more fascinating about Toye’s daring slew of bank robberies is that he would pull them off blind. Toye was legally blind when he robbed countless banks in New York City in the 80s. His right eye could barely see shadows and he would follow the shadows of customer right up to a teller’s window. There, he would show a playing card of a one-eyed jack to the tellers and present them with a note that would say, “Be quick, be quiet, or you’re dead. Put all the cash in the bag. I have a gun.” With the money, he would then exit through a back entrance. He was caught and put in prison several times, always attempting escapes.
5. It was a robbery gone horribly wrong. Brian Wells, a pizza delivery man who was in on the robbery plan of an Erie, Pennsylvania, bank, entered the financial institution posing as a patsy, with an explosive collar around his neck that he believed was fake. He told bank officials he was being forced to rob the bank by three black men and there was a bomb around his neck that they would detonate if he did not comply. He then asked for $250,000. But before Wells could get out of the bank, the supposed fake bomb went off, killing him. Two accomplices, Kenneth Barnes and Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong, were indicted by a federal grand jury. Barnes was sentenced to 45 years in prison, while Armstrong received life plus 30 years.
4. Albert Spaggiari made his message clear after robbing the vault of a French bank in Nice in 1976. Spaggiari recruited a group of men to help him after devising a plan to dig through a sewer system and under the bank floor. It took two months for the men to gain access to the bank. Once inside, the men opened hundreds of safe deposit boxes and took what amounted to more than $50 million in money, securities and valuables. It was the largest heist ever at that time. Before leaving the vault, Spaggiari wrote on the wall: “Without weapons, nor hatred, nor violence.” With that, he was considered more than a common crook.
3. Though he was given the moniker “Robin Hood of the Cookson Hills,” Charles “Pretty Boy” Floyd actually did little to deserve that title, as much of the stories were possible myths and he did not hesitate to shoot and kill when necessary. Floyd was known for robbing banks and often burning mortgages held by suffering farmers, releasing them from their debt. This was believed but never confirmed. He was also known for sharing large amount of the money he robbed from banks with others. But Floyd was known for living a very flashy lifestyle and spending most all of the bank’s money on himself.
2. Now this one sounds like a Mission Impossible scene. While hauling some $817,000 in metal boxes, bank transporters were pulled over by a motorcycle officer next to the Tokyo Fuchu Prison. The officer told them their bank manager’s home has just been blown up and police had received warning that a bomb had been planted in the transporters’ vehicle. The four occupants of the car quickly got out and the officer began to inspect the car’s undercarriage. Soon after, smoke and sparks began emitting from underneath the car and the bank employees ran for shelter at the prison wall. The officer then entered the car and drove away with the cash. It was determined he set off a flare under the car to scare the transporters. No one was ever arrested in the case.
1. In January of 1948, a man entered the Imperial Bank in Tokyo near closing time and claimed he was a doctor sent by U.S. Occupation Authorities to inoculate all bank employees from a sudden outbreak of dysentery. The 16 people at the bank complied, and within two minutes, 12 of them were dead from what was later determined to be cyanide. Two others later died at a hospital. The alleged doctor made away with what amounted to be about $2,000. A massive manhunt was launched in China. Eight months later, Sadamichi Hirasawa confessed to the crime and massacre and was found guilty. He was sentenced to death, but no high court official would sign the execution papers. So he was given life in prison, where he died of natural causes in 1987.
That’s all for today. What are your thoughts on these stories? Let us know in the comments section below. Don’t forget to like us and be sure to subscribe. Get addicted to the good stuff.