Facebook

Twitter

Tumblr

iTunes

RSS

HEAR THIS HOUR'S UPDATE
News Pages

Entries in Bank Robber (2)

Monday
Jun252012

Bank Robbery Does Not Pay Well, Study Finds

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- Bank robbers always seem to do so well after a major heist, at least in the movies.  But a recent study in Significance, the journal of Britain's Royal Statistical Society and the American Statistical Association, found that, despite the perceived glamour, you might make more money as, say, a dental hygienist.

Indeed, as the authors -- economists in England who had access to data from the British Bankers' Association and the FBI -- concluded in their British way: "The return on an average bank robbery is, frankly, rubbish."

Here's why: Based on 2006 data, the average take-home from a bank robbery was £20,331 in the U.K. -- about $40,000 based on the exchange rates that year.

One third of these were foiled, which means the robbers took home nothing at all.  That puts the average haul per successful robbery at £30,000 -- about $46,729.

But since about 20 percent of perpetrators in both countries are caught and the money often recovered, the average is usually much less.

Clearly, there are ways a robber can up his ante.  On average, gun-toting robbers waltzed away with £10,301 ($16,045) more than unarmed ones.  On the other hand, that might not be so smart, because the penalties are greater for armed robbery.

Operating in a team is another option: It increases the take by £9,033 ($14,070), on average, in large part because gangs tend to be more organized and professional.  But although the total haul goes up with a team, the per-person take-home goes down to a mere £12,706.60 ($19,792).

Thus, "A single bank raid, even a successful one, is not going to keep our would-be robber in a life of luxury," the authors noted.

Even if a robber does make a full-blown career out of his wayward habit, he's still not going to be able to retire to Majorca anytime soon.  The average U.K. wage for full-time employment is around £26,000 ($40,498), so the most a robber can expect is a six-month reprieve.  He can, of course, always rob more banks, but that increases his chances of getting caught.

"After four raids, he is more likely than not to be inside [jail]," the authors wrote.

Would-be robbers, they noted, seem to have learned such lessons.  Bank robberies and attempted robberies are on the decline, both in the U.K. and the U.S.

According to FBI statistics, there were 5,014 U.S. bank robberies in 2011, down from 6,700 in 2008. The average take home in a U.S. bank robbery was a paltry $4,330.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Feb172012

Bank of America Ordered to Pay $3.3 Million in Mistaken Identity Case

Jin Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images(MIAMI) -- A Florida man who walked into a Bank of America branch to deposit a $100 check walked away three years later with an order for the bank to pay him $3.3 million after a case of mistaken identity.

Rodolfo Valladares, 50, entered the bank to cash a check but was allegedly beaten by police after a bank teller mistook him for a bank robber whose photo tellers had recently received.

The photo showed a man wearing a Miami Heat baseball cap, which Valladares was also wearing. The photo, however, showed a suspect who looked to be in his 60s and weighed about 145 pounds, while Valladares was 46 at the time and weighed more than 200 pounds.

Valladares “displayed no weapon, made no threat, and demanded no money,” his attorneys wrote in the lawsuit he filed against Bank of America. Valladares sued the bank for negligence and for battery.

The teller pressed the silent robbery alarm and engaged in a conversation with him until police arrived.

Valladares said he was “beaten, kicked in the head and handcuffed by police officers who responded to the alarm, but his check was finally cashed by bank employees and he was released after it was determined to be a case of mistaken identity.”

The battery portion of the lawsuit claims that Valladares suffered permanent headaches, damage to his vision and post-traumatic stress disorder from “being kicked in the head by a SWAT Team member brandishing a machine gun that was aimed at his head as he lay face down on the floor of the bank.”

The negligence charge alleged that the bank was negligent and careless in activating and failing to cancel the silent robbery alarm, even after knowing that that Valladares was not robbing the bank.

They also alleged that the bank has failed to properly train its employees in terms of identifying suspected bank robbers.

“Bank employees had many opportunities to notify the police that Rudy was just trying to cash a check, and that this was a false alarm. Instead, they watched as police officers beat him under the mistaken belief that he was a bank robber,” Valladares’ attorney Russell Adler wrote in a statement. “This is a therapeutic verdict. Bank of America needs to do a better job training and supervising its employees about handling false robbery alarms, and communicating with the police.”

Bank of America plans to appeal the verdict and believes the teller acted reasonably under the circumstances.

“Although the jury reached a verdict, there are several post trial motions that are either pending or will be filed by Monday.  And even if we do not prevail on those motions, we also plan to appeal to the Florida appellate courts,” Bank spokeswoman Shirley Norton wrote in an email to ABC News. “The Bank disagrees with the award. We do not believe that it was not warranted or reasonable in light of the evidence presented or applicable law.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio