Bank robbery is one dumb crime

Robbing a bank is a quick, easy way to make some cash – for about five minutes.

Surveillance photo from bank robbery/Ryn Gargulinski

Surveillance photo from bank robbery/Ryn Gargulinski

Well, it may take a tad longer for the police to catch you. But they most likely will.

“We are very successful in catching bank robbers,” said Tucson police Sgt. Fabian Pacheco. “The majority of the time they are caught.”

After all, he added, police are handed handy photos of the folks from the surveillance cameras.

Bank employees may get a bit suspicious if a customer saunters in wearing pantyhose over his head, so most robbers have their faces in plain view.

Unless the robber immediately soaks his face in caustic acid to eat away the features, there’s a pretty good chance someone somewhere is going to recognize the thief.

Pacheco added it’s even easier if you know where to look, which is around drug circles, as many rob banks to feed a habit.

Tucson averages two to three bank robberies each month. Police stats for 2009 put bank robberies at 22; we had 40 in 2008, perhaps a bit increased due to the recession; and 2007 totaled out at 33.

Surveillance photo from bank robbery/submitted photo

Surveillance photo from bank robbery/submitted photo

Folks think it’s easy to get away with the money – because it is.

“Some of the banks procedures are to have employees comply with robber demands,” Pacheco said. “To get them out of the bank so no one gets hurt.”

A panic alarm gets police on the scene pretty quickly and the money, even if it is never recovered, is covered by the FDIC.

Some robbers make it even easier for the police. How nice.

One incredibly smart dude in Tucson robbed a bank by writing out his robbery demand note on the back of his own bank deposit slip. So cliché.

Another Tucson bank robber was a bit more original. He used regular paper to write out his demand note, which read: “Give me $100, $50, $20.”

So the teller handed him a single $100 bill, a single $50 and a single $20. He took them and left.

Surveillance photo of bank robbery/submitted photo

Surveillance photo of bank robbery/submitted photo

Other dumb bank robberies across the nation, as noted on, include:

One man who spent 10 months in prison for robbing a bank, only to get out and go rob the exact same bank. Guess he wanted to see if he could get it right the second time around.

A robber who needed to hitch a ride as his getaway after robbing a bank – which is dumb enough on its own – ended up hitching a ride from an undercover cop.

A nervous Nellie thief who was frazzled enough to leave something at the scene – his wallet.

Police found a treasure trove of info inside the wallet, including the guy’s driver’s license, his Social Security card and a criminal registration card.

One more genius robber was noted on This robber was especially brilliant because of his day job – he was a rookie cop for the New York City Police Department.

At least the bank he robbed wasn’t in the Big Apple, but rather in Muhlenberg Township, Penn. Christian Torres threatened two tellers with his gun, which may have been police issued, until they handed over $113,000.

Surveillance photo of bank robbery/submitted photo

Surveillance photo /submitted photo

They also hit the panic button, so police were on the scene to arrest Torres just as he was pulling out of the parking lot.

The bank got their money back and Torres was suspended from the police force without pay.

Now we hope the suspension was only temporary until the investigation is complete and he gets his butt fired. Otherwise we have something even dumber than the botched robbery here.


Ryn Gargulinski is a poet, artist, performer and Ryngmaster who thinks going to a light fixture store is more exciting than going to a bank. Her column appears every Friday on Rynski’s Blogski. Her art, writing and more is at E-mail

logoHave you ever tried to rob a bank? What happened?

If you were going to rob a bank, would you wear bright pink stretch pants?

Have you heard other stories of really dumb criminals?


About Rynski

Writer, artist, performer who specializes in the weird, wacky and sometimes creepy. Learn more at
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39 Responses to Bank robbery is one dumb crime

  1. radmax says:

    Mornin’ Rynski. You hear stories about the world’s dumbest criminals robbing banks all the time! Must be desperation, for dipsticks to try this.
    Small wonder these clowns need cash quick, probably can’t understand an employment application.
    PS-those pink pants should get her at least 2 years. ugh!

    • Rynski says:

      mornin’ radmax – i, too, am a fan of those pink pants! and yes, i don’t understand how people think they can get away with bank robbery since it comes complete with photos.
      plain old work does seem like a non-option for so many, too.

  2. azmouse says:

    This kid I grew up with (Tim Hume..I’ll use his name cuz he’s in prison for this) and that my brother and I played with when we were little, grew up to be a rather successful bank robber. He would rob different banks here in town over a period of years and the police couldn’t seem to catch him.
    When his father died, his Mother found money in their house while she was cleaning out some of the Dad’s stuff, and some other random information that led her to realize what her son had done, and that her husband (and his Father) knew about it!
    She contacted police and told them where to find her son.

    • Jennatoolz says:

      How hard that must have been as a mother…first her husband dies, then she finds out her son is a bank robber. Not a fun situation to be in, I’d imagine.

      • Rynski says:

        that is one crummy series of events!

      • azmouse says:

        Yeah, and your dead husband was keeping some pretty serious secrets from you.

        I must add, these were all very nice people too. Wonderful parents, great home, five beautiful kids. There door was always open for us kids to hang out.

    • Rynski says:

      wow.that brings up another question – i wonder how many parents would either 1. like his dad, go along with a crime his child committed, esp. if he got to reap the benefits or 2. like his mom, turn their own kid in to authorities.
      then there are the other parents who, even when confronted with tons of evidence, REFUSE to believe their children could do anything illegal.
      thanks for the story!

      • azmouse says:

        Good! I look forward to that one.

        I believe allot of parents see tunnel vision when it comes to their kids. They are perfect to us. But I’ve also seen the opposite, where their poor children can’t do anything right and just aren’t good enough.

      • Rynski says:

        yes, the spectrum extremes are horrible. what’s ironic is that the kids who are constantly told they are awful sometimes turn to crime or deviant behavior and then the parents may be  stuck wondering if they should turn them in….

      • leftfield says:

        I believe a lot of pet owners have tunnel vision where their pets are concerned too.  I hate hearing someone elses dog bark, but the sound of my chickens greeting the morning, that’s just sweet music!

      • azmouse says:

        I agree, leftfield. When Barnaby howls at a siren, it’s so cute! He tries to imitate it.

      • Rynski says:

        i love the siren howls of the dogs – but i’m no tunnel-visioner when it comes to phoebe’s barkbarkbarking.
        ok, i’ll say rooster noises are cool, as well, but only because they translate into french as ‘coco rico.’

    • liz says:

      was this Tim Hume from Arkansas (brothers Julius, Dale, Robby and sister Christy)….if it is him then he’s in prison for a whole lot more than robbery….attempted murder, drugs, numerous rapes.  He has a string of illegitmate children.  He is serving two consecutive life sentences in a maximum security prison.  This dude is scum.

  3. leftfield says:

    It’s not what I would call a long-term career plan, robbing banks; but it is an interesting and ironic twist, given that most of the time the banks are robbing us. 

    “As through this life you travel,
    you’ll meet some funny men.
    Some who’ll rob you with a six-gun,
    and some with a fountain pen”

    Woody Guthrie

  4. Jennatoolz says:

    Wow, those pink pants are AMAZING! However, that particular woman should not be wearing them. They’re not flattering at ALL! Someone should have called the Fashion Police, too. Maybe she would have gotten a hefty fine for being an eyesore. 😛

    I hate when I need quick cash…about a year ago, I got caught up in a miserable Payday loan circle. Borrowed from one, to pay off another, only to borrow from them again, so I could pay a bill or two. It kept going like that for a few months…finally I broke free of that! I signed up for this really neat 21-day debt/savings makeover thing where they helped me take a good hard look at where my money was going. Each day I would get an email, with a little job to do that would take 15 mins or less. It would be something like writing your money goals that you want to achieve in a little journal they have you create. It really helped me a lot, and I’ve been able to actually save money for those tough situations. Pretty proud of myself, haha. 😛

    • Rynski says:

      you SHOULD be proud, jennatoolz. managing money takes a lot of discipline, esp. when there is a huge debt surmounting. good for you.
      i never borrowed from those payday loan places but knew someone who owned a chain of them.
      yes, she was pretty well off, thanks to the way those places operate. she even had horses (and a husband who had no spine and did whatever she demanded). what a racket they are.

      • Jennatoolz says:

        I highly recommend just completely forgetting those places even exist. It’s almost addicting, as they make it way too easy to borrow $500…only to have to pay $585 back to them within 3 weeks. All the stress, all the pressure, all the stupid rude phone calls…it was too much for me to handle. Not to mention all the money I was losing! Ugh, it makes me sick looking back at it haha.

    • Rynski says:

      p.s. i WHOLLY agree the fashion police should have been called for those pink pants – maybe even BEFORE the regular police for the robbery (haha).

  5. azmouse says:

    The true travesty of the pink pants is that they show she missed a situation that could have possibly been lucrative.

    Some of us butt-less women might pay a pretty penny if she shared some booty with us. Couldn’t they just suck some butt outta her and put it in me?!?  🙂

    • Rynski says:

      hahhahahahha! i should have put “sell liposuctioned fat” as one of the poll responses.

      • azmouse says:

        I would’ve voted for that one.

        C’mon, just once in my life I wanna hear a rap song about something I have!

      • azmouse says:

        I like big butts,,,,baby’s got back….

      • leftfield says:

        There is infinite variety in the human bottom, azmouse, and they’re all unique.  I plan to use this knowledge to publish a book with nothing but pictures of butts and interviews with people talking about their bottoms. 

        But my point is that there is no end to looking at others and wishing you had what they had.  No matter how rich, how good-looking, how powerful, how persuasive, etc, etc, etc, you might be, there will always be someone to compare yourself to and find yourself coming up short.  It’s a losing game with no prize.  I’m sure you have met people who, initially at least, you look at and think, “Wow, this person’s got it goin’ on”.  Later, once you know them, you come to find out that they are no more or less insecure and nutty than anyone else you know. 

        And, I’ll bet there’s a ton of people reading this blog who say to themselves, “That azmouse, I wish I could be more like her”.  Always be grateful for what you got and grateful that you get to see another day; don’t waste what little time we have here worrying about what others might think.  I always tell myself that what anyone else might think of me is none of my business. 

      • Andrew Ulanowski says:

        morning Ryn!
        Tucson is the ONLY place I’ve ever been that shows signs of advanced prevention for certain types of crime: no hats, no sunnies at the bank and I have ALWAYS been asked for ID here when making a credit purchase with my debit card.
        So mouse, just curious, what WOULD your rap song be? 🙂

      • azmouse says:

        Thanks leftfield.
        I do make fun of my bottom, or lack there of, but you are right about all that you’ve said. I am grateful for many good things in my life, and the fact that allot of folks would look at that girl in her pink pants and think she looks not so good, but I chose to see she had an ‘ass’et I never will. LOL

      • Rynski says:

        Mornin’ andrew – thanks for chiming in – no hats and sunglasses at the banks, or are you joshing? the surveillance photos show both. i do get IDed all the time when using credit or even debit card. as if i could make up ‘gargulinski.’ haha.

    • Jennatoolz says:

      Haha! Butt implants. The next celebrity trend! 😀

      I just want to know…who told her she looked good in that outfit?!! They should be punished also! 😀

      • azmouse says:

        At least she fills them out.

        Thank goodness now when you shop for a two piece swimsuit, you can buy them separate. When I was younger you couldn’t do that. I’d have to buy the swimsuit so the top fit, but the bottoms always had a big sag in the butt. It would just hang back there…..

      • Jennatoolz says:

        Aww haha..mine was opposite. The bottoms would fit perfectly, yet the top would be too loose. Not a good situation to be in either! 😛

      • azmouse says:

        True, but at least you didn’t come out of the pool with a big air pocket in your pants filled with water! LOL

      • Andrew Ulanowski says:

        . . . skinny dipping eliminates the problem here

      • azmouse says:

        True!!  🙂

      • Jennatoolz says:

        Haha yes, very true. 😛

  6. Karyn Zoldan says:

    Many years ago before cell phones and when I lived in Calif. I was on my way to exit the bank when I heard, “This is robbery! Everyone get down on the floor now!” 

    Somehow I didn’t think everyone included me so I just continued to the door and didn’t look back. I got in my car and drove to the closest building, a gas station and asked them to call 9-1-1. The sirens were not far behind.

    • azmouse says:

      Thank goodness!

    • Jennatoolz says:

      LOL, such a cliche thing to say during a bank robbery. If it was me in a bank nowadays, and the robbers said something like that, I probably wouldn’t take it too seriously at first. BUT, then my survival instincts would kick in, and I’d do as they say…you know, to avoid a gunshot wound.

      Glad you made it out okay, Karyn! 😀

  7. Joe G says:

    When I was an officer in Nogales, one night I arrested a burglar coming out of a building with an armful of loot.  He was very cooperative and cool all during his booking, seemingly not worried about his predicament.  As he was about to be locked up, he told us we had wasted out time, as he would be back on the street first thing in the morning.  Seems he had just been released from prison for burglary, and he had learned from “jailhouse lawyers” that he couldn’t be prosecuted twice for the same offense, since that would be double jeopardy.

  8. BAnk Guy says:

    Robberies arent covered by the FDIC. FDIC insurance only covers customers  deposits when a bank fails.

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