Nov 14, 2007

Because that is where the money is...

Willie Sutton was a famous bankrobber for about 30 years between 1920 and about 1952. His career included knocking over about 00 banks and three prison escapes. There is a famous phrase attributed to Sutton. Supposedly he was asked by a reporter why he robbed banks. His answer, according to the legend, was "Because that is where the money is."

This is really urban legend because later in his life he wrote an autobiography (partly ghostwritten) in which he denied ever having said that phrase... and a reporter probably made it up...

Regardless of the urban legend and real source of the phrase, it still lives on and is associated with Sutton.

Tonight I heard on the news about someone who had tried to rob a branch of a bank about a month ago had been caught. (He had been caught right away, but th police just now allowed the media to release the info).

Maybe 60 - 80 - 100 years ago robbing banks and getting away with it was fairly easy. The country (America) was wide open. There was no instant communication to send out pictures and alerts, there were no video surveillance systems and hi-tech security... So if someone wanted to rob a bank, and planned it well, maybe he could make his escape and get away with it, at least for a number of years until it eventually caught up with him.

But nowadays? Why would anybody rob a bank nowadays? I doubt there was a single bank robber (in Western countries) in the past 20 - 30 years that got away with it. They all get caught. the level of surveillance and security make it impossible. And if somehow you successfully broke into the bank and got away, your capture is quick in coming. The police email your image to all neighboring states. They stop flights or at least pass your image around airports and bus depots and every other form of transportation. Television flashes your image wherever they want to show it.

People simply do not get away with bank robberies anymore. Not only that, but the banks do not even hold that much money on site like they used to.

Is it really worth it? Why, nowadays, do robbers rob banks? Sutton's (supposed) answer does not work...


  1. I agree - the chances of getting away with robbing a bank are slim, but I guess its human nature for one to think "But I'm the one who will be different!"...

  2. I loved the movie "dog day afternoon" nowdays band robbery's occur online..

    But people watch too many movies they think its just simple.

  3. You should watch Prison Break, you would like it.


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