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Bank Notes - a collection of bank robbery notes
November 2, 2009 3:43 AM   Subscribe

Bank Notes - a collection of bank robbery notes, successful and otherwise.
posted by nthdegx (64 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
from October 25th:
"It’s not your money, don’t hesitate."

Well, when you put it that way...
posted by spoobnooble at 4:02 AM on November 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


I would very much like to have a usable font based on the handwriting in this note.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:13 AM on November 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


Free market. Capitalism, Enterprising...and all insured by socialist govt.
posted by Postroad at 4:13 AM on November 2, 2009


What a great resource!
posted by R. Mutt at 4:20 AM on November 2, 2009 [3 favorites]


"My guns are very real, keep it str8."

Better hope the teller is hip to your *spelling* there, Einstein!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:21 AM on November 2, 2009


Whats a gub?
posted by Gungho at 4:24 AM on November 2, 2009 [4 favorites]


Looks like, if you're robbing a bank, it doesn't pay to be polite.
posted by acb at 4:25 AM on November 2, 2009


The one asking for just a single 100 USD bill must have an interesting story to tell, pity it doesn't say. Emergency booze-up?
posted by Iosephus at 4:25 AM on November 2, 2009


Some of these notes almost sound like haiku:

Put cash in the bag
No dye packs, alarms, trackers
I have a gun, yo.

This bag has a bomb
So don't do nothing stupid
Or we will all die

Is this note scary?
I'm trying the best I can
I'm not really armed
posted by bwg at 4:35 AM on November 2, 2009 [10 favorites]


I have a gun in my bag.
Give me $5000 please.
Thanks a bunch.


A collection of bank robbery haiku would be entertaining.
posted by verstegan at 4:36 AM on November 2, 2009


I'm pretty amazed at how many are asking for not much money...like under $1000. Several are asking for 300-500. Wouldn't you think they'd just rob a quickie mart for that kind of cash?
posted by TomMelee at 4:46 AM on November 2, 2009


The robbers that say "no dye packs" have not studied game theory. If the dye pack explodes in your getaway car, what exactly is your plan? This is a one-shot encounter, you can't punish a non-cooperator!
posted by DU at 4:51 AM on November 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


“…“If you see a guy (in a bank lobby) with a baseball cap, dark glasses and a mustache (or) beard, it’s probably a bank robber, not a customer,”

If they get paid biweekly, it's three times more likely it's a major league baseball player.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 4:51 AM on November 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


i'd like to know how many of the robbers who claimed to have bombs actually had a working one.
posted by mexican at 4:53 AM on November 2, 2009


Looks like, if you're robbing a bank, it doesn't pay to be polite.
Your phrasing here made me think of MS Word's much ridiculed paperclip Office Assistant. It would be fantastic if you got:
"Looks like your writing a demand with menaces. Would you like help?
* Suggest ways of conveying a threat
* Just scrawl my own invective without help
* Don't show this document to law enforcement"
posted by Abiezer at 4:57 AM on November 2, 2009 [14 favorites]


I want a hundred dollars in quarters. Yeah, quarters. But no Utah quarters, I fucking hate Utah. And put them all in this sock. Or I'll beat you with a sock full of quarters. Which sock full of quarters? Oh, shit, foiled by causality.
posted by qvantamon at 5:01 AM on November 2, 2009 [19 favorites]


I always thought robbing a bank was a risk vs. reward kind of deal, but it seems that most bank robberies (according to these notes) are for less than 5 grand. I could temp weekends for a couple of months for that kind of money.

"I'm going to index your database information. Just give me a desk, quietly, and pay me $4,250 at the end of the quarter, and nobody will get hurt. No dye packs."
posted by xingcat at 5:06 AM on November 2, 2009 [23 favorites]


The $100 guy is really sad. You almost wonder if he'd do better just panhandling.

"Give me 100.00 dollars, and I will stop standing by the turnpike. Nobody gets hurt. No alarms, don't call the police."
posted by mccarty.tim at 5:16 AM on November 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


breathe slowly and calmly.
this is not a robbery.
do not put any money into a bag. ponder its purpose.
think about what did not happen here today.
meditate now on the lost potential of this moment.

posted by Mikey-San at 5:18 AM on November 2, 2009 [21 favorites]


>
Maybe they should play to the teller's empathy. You'd put the dye pack in as you have nothing to gain from keeping it out if the person doesn't want to get caught, but would you put it in if you'd end up feeling guilty about it?

"Put the money in this bag. I have a gun.
I am allergic to dye packs. Please be considerate.
God bless."
posted by mccarty.tim at 5:19 AM on November 2, 2009 [11 favorites]


I am stealing
the cash
that is in
the vault box

and which
you were probably
saving
for account holders

Forgive me
no dye packs
and no
one gets hurt
posted by mccarty.tim at 5:22 AM on November 2, 2009 [25 favorites]


I don't get the long-ass explanations. I mean, on one hand you expect someone to actually read your little diatribe, but then you also demand that they not raise alarm. Well, maybe you haven't been to a bank lately, but usually when people go up to the counter they aren't reading while the person just stands there.

I much prefer the ones that get straight to the point. Like this old dude:

ROBBERY.

Simple, no explanation required, no empty threats, no explicit instructions. Just… robbery.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:22 AM on November 2, 2009 [3 favorites]


The robbers that say "no dye packs" have not studied game theory. If the dye pack explodes in your getaway car, what exactly is your plan?

Well several of the notes claim they'll come and kill them... I think there might be a slight flaw in that logic though

You think the next time I take some cash out of the bank '... oh and no dye packs!' will go down well?
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 5:30 AM on November 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


female, 30, Wells Fargo, is pretty cute. I like me a bad girl.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 5:34 AM on November 2, 2009


female, 30, Wells Fargo, is pretty cute. I like me a bad girl.

Yeah, but... she asked for three hundred dollars. You like 'em dumb, too?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:40 AM on November 2, 2009 [4 favorites]


I’m ready to die.

See, that's how you do it. Most of the "I have a gun/bomb"-type notes, it's reasonably safe to say, are empty threats; the minute you open fire, you can be pretty sure you're not walking out of there. But if you're unhinged enough to meet your maker over $2000, you're probably going to take as many people with you as you can.
posted by uncleozzy at 5:56 AM on November 2, 2009 [3 favorites]


I walk up to the teller,
I give her the letter,
She gives me the loot,
With the puckered up lips,
And a wink that I found cute,
And I said, "Baby, baby, baby,
Is there some kharmic G-love thing happening here baby or what?"
posted by kcds at 5:58 AM on November 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


Give me money
or I will blow up a school.

Um... what? Any school in particular, or just the first one you see?
posted by rottytooth at 5:59 AM on November 2, 2009


I’m ready to die.

See, that's how you do it.


Agreed. That's the note, right there. That's how to put fear into someone else.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:01 AM on November 2, 2009


I'm disappointed that the "long-ass explanation" that Civil_Disobedient linked to is the only one with the "explicit" tag.
I guess you could say that it all began in the summer of 1988, when I was staying on extended vacation with my Great Aunt Beatrice in her cabin in the Ozarks....
posted by Flunkie at 6:01 AM on November 2, 2009


Simple, no explanation required, no empty threats, no explicit instructions. Just… robbery.

Notice that that guy's robbery wasn't successful, but the guy with the big long note got his money.

(there is an icon in the lower right hand of the posts, if it is a bank the guy robbery wasn't successful, if it is a money bag it was)
posted by The Devil Tesla at 6:08 AM on November 2, 2009


That's not nice. What if the 91 year old man's name was ROBBERY, and he was just trying to make a withdrawal?
posted by mccarty.tim at 6:20 AM on November 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


I would very much like to have a usable font based on the handwriting in this note.

I thought that sad at first. Then I thought he deliberately wrote it fucked up so they couldn't match his handwriting to the note if caught at a later date.

Yeah, I'm always thinking the underdog's smarter than he looks.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 6:28 AM on November 2, 2009


** lady bank robbers tend to use bags
Thanks banknotes365!
posted by acro at 6:41 AM on November 2, 2009


Notice that that guy's robbery wasn't successful

Dude was NINETY-ONE. I don't care who's your driver, you ain't makin' no quick getaway at 91.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:48 AM on November 2, 2009


Yeah, but... she asked for three hundred dollars. You like 'em dumb, too?

Well, I like 'em cheap.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:50 AM on November 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty amazed at how many are asking for not much money...like under $1000. Several are asking for 300-500. Wouldn't you think they'd just rob a quickie mart for that kind of cash?

I think it's more interesting in that they're not robbing to get rich. This isn't the Great Train Robbery, or some magnificent diamond heist, where you make you're getaway and live life big in South America. These people are robbing banks to pay specific costs: maybe some for drugs, but perhaps even more mundane things like bills or a small debt. Imagine.
posted by Sova at 7:04 AM on November 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm actually kind of curious how much trouble this could get people in.
This is not a robbery.
Put all my money in this bag.
I am closing my account
and I do not feel like talking today.

posted by graventy at 7:04 AM on November 2, 2009 [16 favorites]


Looks like somebody forgot to count the money before he left.
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:16 AM on November 2, 2009


There's a fascinating book called Where the Money Is, written by a former bank-robbery division FBI man, which has an entire chapter on note-robbers. In it he says that the FBI usually doesn't start looking for one of these people until they hit six or seven banks. He says there's no reason to because they're rarely dangerous and they will inevitably strike again and again until they are caught.

It's a really good book.
posted by Bookhouse at 7:32 AM on November 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


That's not nice. What if the 91 year old man's name was ROBBERY, and he was just trying to make a withdrawal?

Genius. Just change your name and address on your joint account to:

Everybody B Kool & Thisisa Robbery
1 Handover,
Allthecash, PA

and you'll easily be able to talk your way out of it if caught.
posted by ob at 7:44 AM on November 2, 2009 [9 favorites]


Am I the only one who read "a collection of bank robbery notes", and interpreted it to mean that the blog posted pictures of the actual bank notes that were robbed (ie pictures of money, perhaps some of them covered in dye)?

Yeah, the posted blog is much cooler than my misunderstanding.
posted by muddgirl at 7:47 AM on November 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


I thought the same thing muddgirl. There probably is a much duller blog that covers this somewhere in the parallel blogoverse.
posted by ob at 7:49 AM on November 2, 2009


The TD (formerly Commerce) Bank I use was robbed several times, so they have police in uniform there most of the time. I was talking to the officer about his role there, and he said that, with some regularity, people enter the bank, through both sets of doors, see him, turn on their heel and skedaddle out of there.

"They may have been planning to do some robbing, more likely they have warrants, either I'm happy to have them leave. I've done my job"
posted by StickyCarpet at 8:09 AM on November 2, 2009


I think it's more interesting in that they're not robbing to get rich. This isn't the Great Train Robbery, or some magnificent diamond heist, where you make you're getaway and live life big in South America. These people are robbing banks to pay specific costs: maybe some for drugs, but perhaps even more mundane things like bills or a small debt. Imagine.


This is why you don't see the capes around as much as you used to. Before it was downright *fun* to rough up some ner'do'well trying to make off with Grandma's savings. but now any stripped-shirt can steal more then that with a few clicks or phrases in legislature -and get a bonus for doing it. Now when you grab bank robber, they just start sobbing and wailing about how the bank took their house or their wife has cancer or hey, how much they love smack. It seems so unseemly and sad now.


And that's why Superman drinks.
posted by The Whelk at 8:18 AM on November 2, 2009 [14 favorites]


The absurdly-low value folks are probably looking to pay off very specific debts - $400 for rent, $100 that you owe for the smack you already bought or want to buy - but who would actually rather not be stealing money, eg, they're willing to do it, but still recognize it as an unethical act, and are trying to minimize their karmic damage.

There may also be some reasoning - probably not incorrectly - that lower the stolen value, the less likely they are to have serious police pursuit, provided an identification can't be casually made by video. You make a clean getaway with $100, are the local cops really going to try to hunt you down all that hard?
posted by Tomorrowful at 8:35 AM on November 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


Return of the Fedora
coming soon to a bookstore near you
posted by not_on_display at 8:41 AM on November 2, 2009


This would be better if they provided at least some links to more follow up. Among other things the successful versus failed designator apparently just refers to whether they got out with the money: I noted one from my home town that rang a bell - Mr. "keep it str8" in fact. It turns out that not only was he too lazy to write out the word "straight," he was also too lazy to dig around and find another piece of paper to write his note on aside from one of his dad's deposit slips. He tried to obscure the info on it with marker. Seriously, that seemed like less work than just finding a blank piece of paper?
posted by nanojath at 9:11 AM on November 2, 2009


I had no idea Courier was the bank robbery note typeface du jour. Ransom doesn't have good readability, which means a longer wait while the bank teller works out your demands, and a greater chance of a security guard playing hero. Do typefaces with large open counters and good x-heights result in a quicker turnover and greater average proceeds per robbery? Maybe a Nimrod would do, or even a Univers for older, more sophisticated bank robbers.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:31 AM on November 2, 2009


Do not press the button
hand me 2000 cash
and it will.


heh
posted by Optimus Chyme at 9:34 AM on November 2, 2009


Oh, Prince, are things so bad? Another red-flag in that image: finger cots.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 10:40 AM on November 2, 2009


Yeah, there's no way I'd risk a stint in federal ass-raping prison for anything less than five digits. I can't imagine the kind of desperation that would drive people to risk it for $100.

The site doesn't say where the author got the notes—presumably he has access to an FBI evidence repository or something?
posted by ixohoxi at 12:56 PM on November 2, 2009


...and what's up with the people who claim to have demolition-scale explosives in their pockets? They're so obviously full of shit. You can't conceal something like that, and who the fuck goes to the trouble and expense of procuring an enormous fucking bomb for the purpose of robbing a bank? Someone's been watching too many crappy Hollywood thrillers.

Just claim that you have a gun, like a normal person. It's a lot more credible, and hence a lot more intimidating.
posted by ixohoxi at 1:07 PM on November 2, 2009


Oh, Prince, are things so bad?

I thought it was Andre 3000 (but the lack of a hat should have been a tipoff).

Just claim that you have a gun, like a normal person. It's a lot more credible, and hence a lot more intimidating.

I dunno. Based on this site's success rate, I don't see much difference between claiming to have a bomb, and claiming to have a gun.

The one thing I learned is just don't claim to have both.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:12 PM on November 2, 2009


Think!
I have a bomb
that can level this bank.
All you have to do is act
like this is a transaction
and keep calm.
Please do not push any alarms
or act nervous.
No blue packs.
Keep enough money
for one more transaction
because that is the time
I need to get away.
You have three minutes.
By the time I go
you can tell someone.
I have a police monitor
and a remote for the bomb,
so don’t screw up
or we will all go.
I don’t want to hurt anyone.


Does this sound like a Public Enemy tune to anyone else?
posted by Infinite Jest at 1:30 PM on November 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


Just claim that you have a gun, like a normal person. It's a lot more credible, and hence a lot more intimidating.

They also found his more menacing prop: a fake bomb that looked like three sticks of dynamite wrapped together. The sticks were actually Roman candles.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:40 PM on November 2, 2009


Of course this is how you should really do it...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:43 PM on November 2, 2009


"Does this sound like a Public Enemy tune to anyone else?"

No.
posted by nthdegx at 2:49 PM on November 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm actually kind of curious how much trouble this could get people in.


This is not a robbery.
Put all my money in this bag.
I am closing my account
and I do not feel like talking today.


graventy... once many years ago while in college i had the habit of "decorating" deposit slips.. on one i pasted a picture of a Ford Ranger from the newspaper and wrote under it, "THIS IS A PICKUP !! " i think by that time the tellers knew me from my kooky deposit slips, and i never had a problem with it.. YMMV , heh.. twas a different time then for sure.
posted by axmikel at 3:30 PM on November 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


I wish I had the deadpan face to walk to a teller and, completely serious, pass him/her a Chick tract, then stand there, staring at them.
posted by qvantamon at 5:00 PM on November 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


Give me all your money
All your hugs and kisses too.

posted by milnak at 6:46 PM on November 2, 2009


Whats a gub?

Some people may not get the reference, which would be too bad, because this scene from Woody Allen's film "Take the Money and Run" is hilarious.
posted by twoleftfeet at 2:41 AM on November 3, 2009


"Hey Ya! I am Andre 3000 and I would love to have all of your cash."
posted by longbaugh at 3:32 AM on November 3, 2009


You never give me your money
you only give me your dye pack paper
and in the middle of the getaway, yeah
it blows up...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:38 AM on November 3, 2009


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