Bank robberies, even the quirky ones, are serious business. People get killed, hurt or emotionally traumatized by these events. And as scary as it is for victims, sometimes the perpetrator’s story is just as sad, even in cases that appear funny at first glance – like this man who robbed a bank in a Captain America T-shirt while his four kids waited in the car outside (he was trying to dodge eviction), or this one who robbed multiple banks on a bicycle but turned out to have an undiagnosed psychiatric condition.
Fortunately, some of the weirdest bank robberies are just plain funny at the expense of no one in particular. Go ahead and laugh at these real-life heists gone wrong.
He Thought It Was Funny
Alexander Sperber, a 25-year-old Florida man, decided to kick-start his comedy career by robbing a bank and then running naked down the street throwing the stolen money at bystanders as he passed. He held the tellers at “gunpoint” – and by gunpoint, we mean he made a finger gun with his index finger and thumb and pointed it at bank employees.
Sperber made no effort to obscure his identity. A red dye packet planted in the bag of cash handed to him by a teller exploded on his clothing and a clearly visible cast on his arm, making him even more distinct. Police reportedly questioned Sperber’s health, but he was found to be coherent and uninjured, local sources reported. The only thing “crazy” about him was his belief that the stunt would land him on a comedy stage rather than in a prison cell for the next several years.
That’s Not Kosher
Also in Florida, a delivery truck was stolen from a local kosher bakery and deli while its driver was stopped on his delivery route. The van – white, with the word “Bakery” distinctly stamped across the side – was used as a getaway vehicle in a bank robbery later that week. Police found the truck abandoned hours after the incident but did not locate the criminals.
You Can’t Blame Trump For Everything
If you’re looking for a fun family activity this weekend, maybe don’t follow the lead of these two Italian brothers. The pair nabbed a couple of rubber Donald Trump masks, a luxury car or three and a supply of explosives before going on a months-long bank-robbing spree.
Subtlety was not their strong suit. In the middle of the night, the brothers would don their Donald masks before rolling up to an ATM in one of their stolen cars. They used a special tool to pry open the front of the machines and insert their explosive device. Within moments, it was raining cash.
You’d think such a distinct trail would be easy to follow. And yet, carabinieri investigators tracked the brothers for months before finally arresting them. By that time, the brothers had blown up dozens of ATMs and collected more than $115,000.
So what finally did them in? The robbers really liked their stolen Mercedes A45 AMG. So instead of switching cars again after authorities got the scent, they took a leaf out of Bruce Willis’ book and simply repainted the car from white to black, as Willis’ protagonist did in the 1997 film “The Jackal.” The paint job switcheroo didn’t fool police, however, and the duo was arrested in July.
Robbing Banks Like A Girl
A 17-year-old girl robbed a Bank of America in Tulsa, demanding cash and threatening to plant a bomb if tellers didn’t comply. She would’ve gotten away with it, too, if it hadn’t been for that pesky car she bought with the stolen money two days later. The girl and her boyfriend have been arrested.
Are We Sure This Isn’t A Movie?
This one’s not so much funny as brilliant, even if most of the criminals didn’t get away with it in the end. A team of thieves spent weeks, if not months, tunneling underground to rob the safe deposit room at the Berliner Volksbank branch. The tunnel spanned over 100 feet and even had ceiling supports.
The tunnel ended in a parking garage in a nearby neighborhood, where the team had posed as a construction crew working behind a rolling screen. They blasted through a concrete wall in the garage and later had to bore their way into the vault as well, suggesting that the perpetrators had special skill sets, Time reported.
The robbers opened more than 100 safe deposit boxes and made off with around $13 million worth of valuables before setting a fire in the tunnel to cover their tracks. The heist was only discovered when bank employees noticed smoke coming from the vault, and neighbors called police to report a fire in the parking garage.
A Brazen Tip-Off
A 45-year-old Florida man with an “extensive” criminal history walked into a bank, robbed it, walked out and immediately started using the stolen cash to leave $50 tips at a nearby cafe.
The cafe owner called police about this suspicious activity, and a cab driver also called in to report a man who matched the suspect’s description walking along Duval Street, where the man was arrested not 20 minutes after allegedly committing the crime. When he noticed police following him, the man threw the bag of stolen cash behind a fence.
With such an “extensive” crime resume under his belt, you’d think he would’ve learned better by now.
The Moral Of The Story
Pulling off a bank heist isn’t easy, and we have to admit that some of these criminals have shown a lot of creativity in their planning, even if things unraveled in the execution. Still, we can’t help but wish they’d apply that creativity to more honest work like shoring up banks’ defenses, both physically and on the cyber front. Then again, if their idea of creativity involves nudity, arson, and Donald Trump costumes – maybe we don’t want it after all.