she certainly didn't fit the profile of a bank-robbing desperado
April 28, 2015 4:27 PM   Subscribe

 
What a nightmare. There has been more than one occasion where I contemplated what would happen to me if I somehow got ensnared by one of those runious cognitive traps like gambling and just like, lost everything. Would I even realize what was going on? She sounds like an incredibly responsible person at the start, living frugally, pilling up cash, furthering her education until *CLACK* bear trap closes on her ankle and she's gone.
posted by indubitable at 4:52 PM on April 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


At 2.30pm, Kaur arrived before the bank's faux-Roman pillars. White lettering on its glass doors read: "Please remove hats and sunglasses before entering." Her reflection looked like she might be going to a costume party as Vogue editor Anna Wintour. Inside, a greeter jumped out and said: "Hey, how can I help you?" This technique is called SafeCatch, and it's taught by the FBI to put potential robbers off their stride. Kaur panicked, and fled.
Do bank robbers think twice if hit with nice?
Scott Taffera sensed something was wrong when a man walked into the Ballard bank branch he manages wearing garden gloves, a hat and sunglasses.

But instead of following the nonconfrontational strategy used by most banks with suspicious people, Taffera approached the man with a hearty greeting and an offer to help. He invited him to remove his hat and sunglasses, and guided him to an equally bubbly teller.

In the end, the oddly dressed man requested a roll of quarters before slinking out the door.

This new approach toward suspected bank robbers — dubbed by one FBI agent as customer service on steroids — may be one reason for a significant drop in bank robberies in the Seattle area.
Most people who rob banks don't seem to be criminal masterminds with intricate plans...
posted by haltingproblemsolved at 8:10 PM on April 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


1) Interesting. I can't even begin to guess at what was really going on.
2) Love the "think twice if hit with nice" link.
3) Dammit, BBC. It's Fremont, not Freemont. (And I really miss living there.) I help run a local Twitter account and I'm baffled as to how I missed this story in the first place.
posted by wintersweet at 9:23 PM on April 28, 2015


I wonder if the loan sharks were real? I kind of suspect not; it just seems like such a poor plan, too stupid for organized crime. I mean, you know what is going to happen if you give a compulsive gambler who has hit bottom a bunch of money to gamble; they're going to lose it, and then not be able to pay you back. So they weren't expecting to get that money back.

As a means of getting their hooks into her, I can see it, but that's a pretty big investment for that. And for what, to get a normal-looking person for bank robbery? Bank robbery is a crime that is rarely successful for long and doesn't really make that much money; sending in a person with no experience is obviously a terrible idea and they could hardly have expected to recover their investment. Whereas using her for drug smuggling, the much more obvious alternative, would have been much more lucrative and less likely to end badly.
posted by Mitrovarr at 10:35 PM on April 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's a sad yet very readablie piecem with many dimensions of human tragedy, and I hope that in time she can return to the perfectly decent life she's clearly capable of. It'll make a great move.

One phrase jars a bit - "...her family are devoted Sikhs, a religion that steers followers away from the selfish pursuit of wealth". This may be true, but it's not distinctive. I know a few Sikhs who are most certainly avid businessmen. Sikhism is strong on status, and money is a perfectly good measure of that. I also know plenty of Christians who, despite Jesus' very clear teaching on the subject, are just as avid... in fact, the number of people from very religious backgrounds who've foregone temple, mosque, church and shul - with varying degrees of personal probity - for the lure of mammon is significant across the board.

So to say that and then not develop it seems a bit gratuitous to me and I'm not one to shy away from discussions of the sociological aspects of different religious communities, even though it's a minefield (especially in Metafilter's DMZ!).
posted by Devonian at 2:55 AM on April 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


perversely, due to its fortified nature, the Metafilter DMZ has returned to nature and is one of the last pieces of pristine internet left on Earth.
posted by indubitable at 6:57 AM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Sikhism is strong on status, and money is a perfectly good measure of that.

I guess you mean that Punjabis are strong on status, because Sikhism is really not. Much of the later history of the religion revolves around erasure of caste and status (Singh/Kaur being used to elevate all Sikhs to Prince/Princess, for example). Punjabis, on the other hand...
posted by vanar sena at 9:24 AM on April 29, 2015


Most people who rob banks don't seem to be criminal masterminds with intricate plans...

Not at all. But at the same time that's even scarier. People who are possibly armed doing something dangerous like a robbery without thinking it through?
posted by Hoopo at 10:28 AM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure I believe her story about the loan sharks.
posted by mecran01 at 11:02 PM on April 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


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