I write a lot about bank robbers, it seems, but that’s because robbing a bank is the second dumbest crime in the world (second only to robbing a 7-11.) Sure, in the glory days of bank robbing, back when a man could ride his horse up to the door, stick a shotgun in somebody’s face, take all the money, and have a few hours head start before the sheriff could muster up a posse to come after him, bank robbing wasn’t quite as dumb. Even during the Great Depression, when the likes of John Dillinger, Pretty Boy Floyd, and Bonnie and Clyde were all active, bank robbing was still romanticized and some bandits were seen as Robin Hood types (even though Dillinger, Floyd, and Bonnie and Clyde were all brutally gunned down by the Feds eventually.) In the age of security cameras, silent alarms, exploding ink packets, and all the other modern deterrents, bank robbing is just plain dumb, however.
If you’re going to try it, though, you should at least not half-ass things. Getting in and getting the money is only part of the job. The most important (and arguably hardest) part is getting the hell out of there and getting away. Old West gangs had fast horses, and Clyde Barrow famously preferred Ford V8s when he could get them. A man in Dayton, Ohio, however, decided public transportation was his best bet. After robbing a downtown bank, he walked two blocks in full view of witnesses, and got on a city bus.
Man, seriously? A bus? If I asked you to make a list (hypothetically, of course) of all the things you’d need to rob a bank, how long would the list be before you put down “getaway car?” It would probably be third or fourth on my list, behind only “prepared note for teller,” “gun,” and “ski mask.” And that’s only if I didn’t go with the old “I have a bomb” ploy instead of the gun. But it doesn’t take long to start thinking about how you’re going to get away with the cash once you have it, right?
Let’s consider all the problems with the “getaway bus” plan. First is that you’re not actually driving it. You’re just a passenger. And the driver isn’t (presumably) a member of your gang, either. He’s just going to keep going along his pre-planned route, making pickups and drop-offs, while you sit quietly in your seat with your sack of loot. This isn’t really ideal–there isn’t going to be any fancy driving or evasive action taken here, the dude is just going to calmly pull over as soon as the cops pull up behind him (which is, of course, exactly what happened.) Second problem is the aforementioned pre-planned route. See, in order to evade the cops, you have to be at least one of two things: Fast, or tricksy. A bus is neither. Your average city bus can’t outrun a garden slug, and driving along a pre-planned, widely publicized route is pretty much the exact opposite of tricksy. You wouldn’t rob a bank, and then drop a map of the city with your getaway route clearly marked, would you? Well, you just fucking did exactly that when you hopped on that bus, dipshit! Finally, city buses always smell like pee and vomit. You’re going to be smelling enough of that if you get caught and sent to prison, so why start early?
And yet, there exists a human being stupid enough to think that catching the crosstown express two blocks away from the bank he just robbed was a good plan. This was the best he could come up with! Go in, get the loot, then hop on the number 6 and head home like nothing happened. Yeah asshole, great plan. Have fun in prison.