How Not to Rob a Bank – Bungled Bank Robberries

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Bank robbery is still alive and well in these times of high tech crimes. Some go off without a hitch and some go off like the Titanic. Here's a list of some of the less successful ventures:

Terror in Tinseltown

February 1997 Los Angeles citizens stayed glued to their TV as Larry Phillips and Emil Matasareanu robbed the Bank of America on Laurel Canyon. Afterwards, they brazenly bought the LAPD in an intense gun battle right in the streets of Hollywood. The duo was outfitted with body armor that stopped police pistol rounds and automatic rifles that had the cops ducking for cover. In 44 minutes both robbers were dead (ten police officers and seven civilians were also injured). The shootout, which was broadcast all over the world let everyone know one more time why LA is sometimes called "The Bank Robbery Capital of the World."

Super Senior Stopping Power

When Daniel Ginly went into the US Bank in Dayton, Ohio he kept an eye out for anyone who might give him trouble, particularly guards and cops. Unfortunately he did not pay much attention to 70 year old James Matteson. After stealing the money from the teller he ordered the "old man" out of his way. What he did not know was that Matteson was a Korean War vet. The giriatric crime fighter slammed Ginly against the wall and held him down long enough for the police to arrive (even after Ginly slashed him with a knife). Where-to next for our hero? He went off to a reunion for Polish veterans. Guess who had a new war story to share?

A Real Pain in the Neck

It was like something out of a Saw movie. Brian Wells robbed a bank. But when the police talked up with him he says that he was forced to commit the crime. Then a small bomb goes off around his neck, killing him. After many twists and turn is coming out that Wells was one of a group of conspirators headed by Kenneth Barnes. He wanted the cash to have his girlfriend's father murdered. Apparently, it was not until the last minute that Barnes told Wells the bomb was real. All of the conspirators were actually but now the police had to deal with a new kind of crime: Robbery by proxy.

Forget Something, Genius?

Never understimate the power of a question. A bank teller in New Hudson, Michigan forged her bank robber simply by asking him if he had a bag in which she could put the money. He apparently did not because he then ran off with out a second thought. Oakland County Sheriff Tom Bisio said "she must have flustered" her would be robber. Maybe wanted go get some environmentally friendly bags to carry his green.


Robert Michael Varela pulled out his heist in Whitter, CA and ran straight into the open door of his waiting cab. Unfortunately the dye pack the teller slipped in exploded. He ditched everything (including his now red-dyed jacket) and tried to hop a public bus. The bus, however was on a lay over and 20 minutes later the police picked him up. Next time he'll know to bring his own wheels.

Not so Clean Getaway

Mental note: maybe bikes would be better for bank robbery getaways than cars. Bank robbers in Hampton UK started off alright. They got the money, they got out, and they did not kill any one. They were doing fine until until they crashed right into a police car. When the patrolman came to their window speeding was only the least of their problems!

Source by Elizabeth Grace Frazier

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