Last week, the Micheal Mann movie "Public Enemies" was released. The movie recounts the exploits of John Dillinger and other bank robbers in the 1930's. I'm eager to see the movie-- not only am I a big fan of Michael Mann ("Thief," "Manhunter," "Crime Story"), but the John Dillinger part of the story has a family connection: my grandparents were at the Biograph Theater the night Dillinger was shot by the FBI while coming out of the theater.
While Dillinger was regarded as a fairly successful bank robber, today I stopped to take a photo of the site of possibly the least competent bank robbery ever.
The bank in the picture has changed ownership several times in the last ten years. When it was BankOne, back about ten years ago, my now-ex-wife Cynthia and I had our joint bank account there, and she did the banking for her dance studio there. We were not there the day a bank robber came in and passed a teller a note to give him cash.
The teller quietly complied, and the robber left the bank with a bag full of cash.
Now, I've never robbed a bank, and have no plans to do so, but I do know that tellers usually put a dye pack in with the cash. And again, while I don't plan to rob a bank, if I were to do so, I would think that I would carefully plan my getaway.
The police quickly responded and just as quickly caught the robber. Apparently, his getaway plan was to take the commuter train-- you can see the station in the background, to the left, about a block from the bank, next to the railroad bridge. The police found the robber standing on the platform, covered with the blue dye from the bag full of loot that he held in his hands. Apparently, it hadn't occurred to him to check the train schedule, and plan his getaway accordingly.