By: Chloe Rousseau
Fun Fact: One of the biggest bank robberies in history occurred in 2003 when one billion dollars was stolen from the Central Bank of Iraq. That figure overshadows the largest U.S. bank robbery when thieves stole $18.9 million during the 1997 Dunbar Armored robbery. What would you do with all that money? Personally, I would buy a restaurant on the beach and an on-call yoga instructor (do those exist?). I guess I should invest some of that, too; but, I don’t plan on robbing any banks. These 7 movies, however, have taught me something about the crime of bank robbery that I feel would be helpful, should I need a change in career… 1. Be Prepared Before robbing a bank, you must think through every scenario, so you’re well prepared no matter what tactics the police use to deter the robbery. Robber Dalton Russell prepares for every scenario in the 2006 movie Inside Man, and he ends up successfully walking away from the bank with the prize he wants. 2. Get in and Get Out The ex-Presidents in 1991′s Point Break spend seconds gathering as much money as they can during their bank robberies. The last robbery they attempt includes a detour into the vault, which wastes valuable time and leads to the gang’s demise. For success, bank robbers must get in and get out quickly. 3. Reduce Distractions You can’t afford to be distracted. You must be able to walk away from any situation in under 30 seconds when they feel the heat approaching. Professional thief Neil McCauley falls in love and doesn’t follow this advice in the 1995 movie Heat, and he pays dearly for his mistake. 4. Take Advantage of Lax Bank Security Even the best security systems have flaws, and the robbers in Empire State capitalize on those security lapses. The 2013 film is based on the 1982 Sentry armored car robbery, in which $11 million was successfully stolen. The movie showcases how robbers can take advantage of flaws in bank security to get away with stolen cash. 5. Use Secure Communication Devices Released in 2008,The Bank Job fictionalizes London’s real 1971 Baker Street robbery. The lookout on the roof and the robbers who tunnel their way into the bank communicate via walkie-talkies. Their robbery almost ends prematurely when the police intercept the transmissions. Alternatively, a private network and secure line give the robbers more time to increase their haul. 6. When You’re Bored, Partner with a Bank Robber The 1967 movie Bonnie and Clyde depicts waitress Bonnie Parker as bored and looking for some excitement. She finds just that when she joins forces with veteran bank robber Clyde Barrow in their infamous crime spree. Working together, the couple robs banks, kidnaps hostages, and ends up in a fatal shootout with police. 7. Make Sure Your Partner is Completely Committed Dog Day Afternoon demonstrates how not to rob a bank, and partnering with someone who isn’t 100% committed to the crime is a robber’s worst mistake. In the 1975 movie, crook Sonny Wortzik partners with his friends Sal Naturale and Stevie. As soon as Sal pulls a gun, Stevie runs away. The entire operation goes downhill from there, reinforcing the need for reliable crime partners. Banks do store tempting amounts of money, but keep in mind that the average bank heist yields only $4,330. You can legally obtain that much money in one year when you sign up for matching 401(k) funds from your employer, cut costs in the kitchen, and get a part-time job that brings in an extra $361 a month. Won’t you join me in finding bank robbery alternatives that boost your bank account? Share your best tips here!