In movies and television, bank robbers are often portrayed as criminal masterminds who carefully plan and execute elaborate heists that leave barely a trace behind.
In real life, it doesn't always work out that way. Bank robbers rarely make off with the vast sums of money portrayed in movies, and they sometimes do not-so-smart things like record video of themselves bragging about their crime and then post it to YouTube, as one Nebraska teen allegedly did last week.
Hannah Sabata, age 19, is accused of robbing Cornerstone Bank in Waco, Neb., making off with $6,000 in cash. A few hours later, she allegedly posted a video on YouTube giving details of the heist.
From Nick Bilton of The New York Times:
Sheriff Radcliff said that Ms. Sabata had been identified as a suspect by her ex-husband. She sent him a text message, the sheriff said, bragging that she "had a pile of money after robbing a bank and asking if he wanted to go get a new tattoo with her."
The authorities said Ms. Sabata posted the video, titled "Chick Bank robber," from her messy bedroom at her parents' house. She was wearing the same clothes she had worn during the bank robbery, according to the sheriff: a pink and white striped T-shirt and black jeans.
A brief text description of the holdup was attached to the video: "I just stole a car and robbed a bank. Now I'm rich, I can pay off my college financial aid and tomorrow i'm going for a shopping spree."
This incident illustrates an often-overlooked benefit of doing most of your banking online or on a smartphone: a much smaller chance you'll be in a bank branch when a robbery takes place.
Now it's unlikely that even someone who goes to a bank branch every day will get caught up in a bank robbery. But a combination of a relatively small payoff and very high risk suggests bank robberies aren't going to be perpetrated by the sharpest folks out there. If they're armed, there seems to be a nontrivial chance they'll hurt someone out of fear or sheer incompetence.
After all, if Sabata did in fact rob a bank and post a video about it publicly, the idea of someone with her judgment waving a gun around is truly terrifying.
What do you think? Do you ever worry about being caught in a bank branch during a robbery?
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