Is it possible to rob a bank these days?

I’m watching Quick Change, and it made me think, with all the holdup alarms, security cameras, mobile phones, is it actually possible to rob a bank successfully these days?

FBI says yes:

From the 2014 stats:

“Investigation to date has resulted in the identification of 2,617 (55 percent) of the 4,778 persons known to be involved.”

Impossible, the pens are chained down.

As long as Americans have more faith in fysical cash than digital money, there will be banks loaded with cash and thus (attempted) robberies.

Where I live, banks still exist, but they don’t look very different from any other shop or office. Aside from the fact that they have almost no business: if I want to withdraw some huge amount, they point at the ATMs outside. If I’d want to make a deposit (no idea why I would) they point at the machine inside. Paying bills is done over the internet. Personally, I never carry cash anymore. Not because of some fear of being robbed, but simply because there are no shops where I need it anymore.

We do still have the occasional robbery of a valuables truck. That seems to be the only serious robbery business that actually pays off if prepared and executed well. And by that I mean automatic weapons and explosives.

It’s possible still to rob a bank branch, but it’s much rarer than previously and as banks hold less cash today, much less lucrative. (The stories I’ve read generally talk about people getting away with amounts under $10,000.) From the British Bankers’ Association, “Industry-wide figures show that there were just 66 such robberies in 2011 – down from 847 in 1992.”

Indeed. Anecdotally, there seem to be far more robberies on jewellers and high-end luxury goods shops rather than banks these days. Seems like barely a month goes by without a smash-and-grab on some posh London jeweller.

Like most crime bank robberies peaked in the early 90s with about 9,000 a year. Since then they have fallen to 3,961 in 2014. Bank robbery has always had a relatively high clearance rate and today is around 55% for the US.

Apparently so, but as noted, I don’t think you’ll ever see a Great Bank Robbery again.

About 5 years ago, there was a string of bank robberies in Eugene, Oregon. The two robbers were eventually caught and sent to prison. IIRC, the amount they stole came to less than $5,000 total for all the robberies put together, and they ended up getting 20 years each. That’s approximately three days in prison for each one dollar stolen. “Crime doesn’t pay”, indeed!

But they leave the vault open.

It would be helpful to know where you live. It would help we Americans understand the situation better.

We did have a spate of people yanking ATM’s out of the wall with a JCB or some such machine. I suspect that that offers a better risk/benefit ratio than shotguns in the bank. Even that has become harder now as the machines are being re-locates in places that are harder to get at.

Of course, if you have the balls and the ability, a raid on a safe deposit seems to offer the best return, although most of the robbers in the Hatton Garden Heist have been caught.

If you want to rob a bank, you are better aff acquiring computer skills than heading for a rifle range.

But ive gathered from the thread so far that the same trend - less pay off hence new targets - is happening in the us and uk…

Great opportunity to tell my story! I once went to my local bank only to find cops all around and the place shut down. When I was allowed to go in I got a story from my friend who worked there. Apparently a woman had decided to hold up the tellers. They gave her all the money in their drawers and then this epitome of brilliance decides her best getaway is to walk.

She was caught about seven blocks away.

It is easier to ID people I think, and easier if you’re stupid.

A lot of robberies target pharmacies, because the criminals are after drugs.

It look like the majority are the quick “give me the cash in your register” type as opposed to the “this is a stick up and I’m emptying the vault” type. I know there were a bunch of these last fall from one guy in Chicago. I don’t know if he was ever caught.

Rob the armored car instead. Just need to get the proper cloths.

In America- banks rob you!:smiley:

thanks to Yakov Smirnoff

Seven blocks?? Took the police long enough to get there.

I remember one story I heard years ago in college. Girl fresh out of high school got a summer job as a teller. She told her boyfriend about the setup - “give them the money, wait to push the alarm, let the police handle it.” He told her he’d come in, she should give him her money, then wait until he was well out the door to press the silent alarm, say she didn’t recognize him. Apparently she didn’t wait long enough, he was picked up immediately 20 feet out the door… and squealed on her too.

Another clever scam - a lot of these smaller stand-alone ATM’s shipped like many devices with a standard password - user should change it later. Many didn’t. So someone would go up to an ATM in the bar, login as administrator, and redefine the $20 bin as $5. Take out a bunch of money, leave it like that so nobody knows who actually started getting $15 at a time free, and the subsequent customers would gladly help empty it out.

Security camera footage of people attempting to break open or steal ATMs from convenience stores is a staple of “stupid criminal video” TV shows in the US, because it so often either looks dramatic or hilarious. I suppose they’re probably not showing us the successful ones, though.