Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Willie Sutton would laugh

So today 5 banks were robbed in NYC, prompting news articles and even a piece on NPR's All Things Considered. The media is pointing fingers to the economy and the lost jobs around the holidays. 5 banks is surely the sign of financial meltdown, or the sinister return of high crime numbers to plague Gotham.


There is a reason why people should not fear a return to lawlessness with an uptick in bank robberies nationwide (Up 54% in New York City this year.) Because my friends robbing a bank in the City of New York is easier than robbing a pizza place on the corner. I don't want to give away trade secrets, but here are the items needed to rob a bank in the early 1900's:
  • Revolver
  • Mask (Preferably Lone Ranger Style)
  • Dynamite for safe
  • Multiple accomplices to watch people/guards (Preferably dim witted family)
  • Horse
Items needed in 2008?
  • Ballpoint Pen
  • Something to write on with above pen
  • Baseball Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Metrocard
These are all "note jobs", which means perp walks into bank and scrawls "Give me UR $$, I hav a bumb" on a deposit envelope and a smiling woman behind counter hands him money. Sometimes it's not a lot (couple hundred) and sometimes it is (couple thousand). But how can the perp be angry. He just used a pen to defeat bulletproof glass. Because friends, the banks happily give up the cash as it's insured by the Feds. So to them, they would rather lose $1,000 than have their guard tackle the guy, sprain his ankle and have the perp sue for $1 million dollars.

But try doing this at your local pizza joint. Walk up to the counter and smile at Sal and give him a note that says "Give me al UR pizzas!" and see what happens. Either:

a) You get your ass beat
b) You get laughed at and then realizing you are serious, see above step

So this isn't another sign of financial armageddon. This is business. And the only people hurt by this is the Precinct C.O. who is being held accountable for an extra robbery in his/her precinct than no one else seems to care about.

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