The Field Report with Tom Field

Dumb Robberies: Signs of Troubling Times

Dumb Robberies: Signs of Troubling Times

A few weeks back, near my home in New Hampshire, a would-be robber held up a local Citizens Bank branch, and he attempted to get away with an undisclosed amount of cash.

Well, since he was on foot (guess he needed money to buy a car), he immediately commandeered the closest vehicle for a getaway: a 1984 Ford truck that was painted blue, gray and brown.

Bad times don't build character; they reveal it. And we aren't going to like a lot of the characters we see emerging from these troubled times we're in. 

Perfect! Rob a bank and attempt to flee in a 24-year-old, tri-colored truck. No one will ever spot that!

Needless to say, police soon found this smoke-belching, three-toned truck, and the robber was apprehended. Presumably he'll have some time now to reflect on his plans and where they might have gone awry.

I share this story because it ties into a new article by Linda McGlasson on Dumb Bank Robberies of 2008. It's a light-hearted piece that collects the best of the worst botched robberies of the past year. And there are some doozies. Like the robber who left his photo ID behind. Or the one who wrote the hold-up note on the back of his own personal check.

Some of these stories are just hilarious, but they all point to a serious truth: Desperate times inspire desperate people. As people struggle with the economy, their homes, their employment ... we're going to see more attempted robberies in 2009, both from outside the banking institution and from within.

And we aren't talking about "the usual suspects," either. People seem shocked at the news headlines about Bernard Madoff and his alleged Ponzi scheme. Don't be. Bad times don't build character; they reveal it. And we aren't going to like a lot of the characters we see emerging from these troubled times we're in. We can be a jaded bunch, but I still think we're all going to express some shock at some of the inside and outside heists we see in 2009.

So, now's the time, with resolutions still fresh, to resolve to take the extra steps necessary to keep your institution and its assets (financial and informational) as secure as possible.

And keep those security cameras trained on the antique trucks, will ya?



About the Author

Tom Field

Tom Field

Senior Vice President, Editorial, ISMG

Field is responsible for all of ISMG's 28 global media properties and its team of journalists. He also helped to develop and lead ISMG's award-winning summit series that has brought together security practitioners and industry influencers from around the world, as well as ISMG's series of exclusive executive roundtables.




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