The coronapocalypse has led to poor life choices ranging from ingesting fish tank cleaner, drinking bleach, and now robbing banks. In a sad reminder of how economic hardship can drive people to crime, a man apparently robbed a bank in Houston, Texas because he didn’t get his COVID-19 stimulus check. According to a report by The Sun:
At approximately 9am, the robber walked into the bank – wearing a black banana across his face – and asked to withdraw money.
As the man told the teller he wanted to make a withdrawal, he handed over a handwritten note.
The note, written on a piece of notebook paper, read: “I didn’t get a stimulus or that 10k loan. I lost my business to COVID so please make this easy and comply.
“I don’t wanna hurt nobody but will if I have to. Any suspicious moves and I will start shooting so please go get my money.
“Don’t make anything noticeable!”
Click2 Houston reports:
According to HPD [Houston Police Department] the suspect is described as Black male, 30 to 39 years old, around 6 feet with a large frame. The suspect wore a black bandana over his face, a Black hoodie pulled over his head, a black True Religion brand “letterman” jacket with a red “02” and “TR” on the front and a red and white “TR” with TRUE RLGN written inside the letters and a gray wild cat on the back, and black pants.
Crime Stoppers is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the suspect’s arrest.
I can totally relate to the alleged robber’s plight as economic hardship combined with stress can lead to a “what’s the worst that could happen?” mentality.
Bank Robbery Analysis: The man’s robbery seems to have gone well except for one execution error. The man’s mistake was threatening to shoot the place up if he didn’t get his money. If you’ve read my past bank robbery blogs, you’ll recall me mentioning that you never threaten anyone and you never hint that you have a gun (even if you have a small arsenal on you). One thing that I had to laugh at was part of one news report that states “It’s not clear if the man actually had a weapon. However, out of fear the bank teller actually gave him an unspecified amount of cash.” Tellers are instructed to hand over the money regardless of whether they perceive a threat. This is bank officials and/or law enforcement doing their usual dog-and-pony show to make what may just be an individual who got in over his head and made a life-changing mistake into the latest crime of the century.
As I discuss in my memoir, Laughing All the Way to the Bank (Robbery): How an Attorney Survived Prison, I met many individuals who had drug problems, gambling problems, and similar situations that influenced their decision to make a quick payday. If this man’s demand note reflects his situation, it’s understandable why someone who had to close down his business and wait for what seemed like an eternity to get promised financial relief get frustrated.
In the end, if this individual is arrested and convicted, he should take responsibility for his actions, regardless of his circumstances. Barring coercion or mental illness, it’s difficult to justify robbing a bank (although if you’re familiar with bank practices, it’s clear banks are robbing their clients every day). However, if the man’s story proves true, I would hope the court takes his circumstances into consideration when sentencing him. These are difficult times that call for special consideration by judges.
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