They concluded their heist by riding away on horses, headed heading east and, according to Greenup, “shooting off pistols” as they went.While the past century and a half has seen a number of new financially based offenses — money laundering, identity theft, credit card fraud — the rather dated enterprise of walking into a bank and demanding money has maintained its place in America, a country that typically sees a few thousand cases of the crime per year.Charles Arthur “Pretty Boy” Floyd, a participant in the Kansas City Massacre of 1933, was a famed bank robber of the times, a flashy criminal also alleged to have dabbled in murder.Bonnie and Clyde dominated headlines during the same era, as their violent, cross-country crime spree included stick-ups at various banks. Perhaps the most notorious of the Depression-era gangsters, Dillinger spent a good portion of the early 1930s leading law enforcement on a series of fruitless leads and narrow misses, until authorities got a tip — courtesy of a brothel’s madam — that Dillinger was staying in Chicago.
They’re drug users looking to finance their next hit, and down-on-their-luck gamblers in search of a quick payday.
Of course, in some instances, the newest security measures aren’t even needed; one alleged thief left a coat near the scene containing a pill bottle labeled with his prescription information.
Even those who, against the odds, successfully carry out a bank caper these days typically find themselves with little to show for it.
Their actions, though often inherently violent, are viewed in a kind of romanticized way.
After Jesse James, who would be credited with various bank robberies during his short lifetime, came a string of Depression-era criminals who seemed to make bank robberies acceptable, if not downright fashionable.