They’re serial bank robbers — like the 36-year-old Kansas man who in February admitted to committing two bank robberies while on parole for another bank robbery charge — and first-time offenders.There was the man who, finding himself broke around the holidays, made a regrettable decision and was later arrested on a public bus in Kansas City.
The perpetrators are a wide-ranging collection of individuals.
They’re drug users looking to finance their next hit, and down-on-their-luck gamblers in search of a quick payday.
Today, simply walking into a bank and slipping a note to the teller demanding money can result in a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.
Flash a weapon — or use even the threat of violence — and that number can jump significantly.
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.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.It was a significant victory for the FBI, whose search for Dillinger had spanned multiple years and states.It also signified the lengths federal authorities would go to combat a crime that they, unlike many Americans, did not seem to find the least bit amusing or romantic.While leaving a movie theater on the evening of July 22, 1934, Dillinger was surrounded by federal agents and, allegedly armed and fleeing into a nearby alley, was fired upon.