Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Have. A. Plan.

So, yesterday, the bank in my town got robbed. Not a "this is a robbery, put all the money in a bag" written on a note robbery, but a "waving a gun around in the air" robbery. Young kid, 18-24ish, suspected in a couple of other robberies in neighboring towns. This punk:

This is my bank. It has been my bank since the mid-1970s. Name's changed a few times as it has been bought and sold, going from a locally-owned bank to a chain, but the tellers are the same folks that have been there for years. I don't go in the bank all that often, with direct deposit and all, but still, this is a punch in the gut.

I live in a small town next to a moderate-sized city. Crime in my town is limited to petty vandalism, an occasional B&E on a house where the occupants are on vacation, and speeding cars. Our last murder was a domestic violence death in 1992; before that it was the early 1970s (and also domestic violence involving a town police officer). We're not often the victims of violence here in my sleepy little 'burb.

Point is, if it can happen here, it can happen anywhere.

The idea of "crime doesn't happen here" or "this is a good area, you don't need to worry about protection" is a fairy tale. Crime doesn't stop at a town's borders, or respect certain zip codes. Sure, some areas have lower crime rates than others, but assuming that you're safe simply because of your location is little more than wishful thinking. Even in the best of areas, criminals can and will find their way in. Honestly, it's surprising it doesn't happen more often in the "good" areas simply because more people are likely to be in a lessened state of awareness.

Which brings to mind my point, the title of this post. Have a plan. This is a bank I patronize. It is possible I could have been in the bank when this happened. I suspect in this case I would have held back, at the ready but not drawn, and observed and been ready to act if something changed. He flashed the gun but was not pointing it at any one; if he started pointing the gun at patrons or tellers then the situation may require action.

I'll give the tellers credit here, though - the call came into the police station at 2:13 PM; the actual robbery happened at 2:15 PM. They saw this guy come into the bank in a hoodie and ski mask and hit the silent alarm immediately. Unfortunately he was gone by the time the police arrived a few minutes later, which drives home the frequent refrain that when seconds count, the police are only minutes away. Fortunately for all involved, he didn't actually assault anyone.

It could have gone much, much worse - I know I'll be keeping this scenario stored away for review the next time I find myself getting a little too complacent...

That is all.


Jennifer said...

Years ago, the credit union where my mother works was robbed. As in, dude put a gun in her face and said 'get on the floor, bitch'
The credit union was in at the end of a busy strip mall in Oklahoma City. Nice area. Practically in the parking lot of the Hobby Lobby.
Anywhere, anytime. Have a plan

Bubblehead Les. said...

Unfortunately, here in Ohio most Banks, Credit Unions, have the "No Guns Allowed" Sign posted on the Entrance.

And the Old Retired Cop who used to sit in the Lobby has left the Building. Cheaper that way, you know.

So, if you are here in Buckeyeland, I recommend using the Drive Through if one has to do Banking.

As for anything else one wishes to do for Personal Protection in a Bank, well......

Dave H said...

Les: My bank in central Ohio had some rocket surgeon pull up to the drive-through window and tell the teller to give him money because he had a knife. She said, "Oh, okay. Can you put the knife in the drawer please?" So he did, and she took it. She'd already hit the alarm, and when the guy realized he wasn't getting his knife back he took off. She got his license number and the knife had prints on it, so they were able to catch the guy eventually.

Anonymous said...

we had a similar situation here in aridzona years ago.Not a happy ending tho.Some punk robbed a store across the street from a motel,as he ran out,he fired a couple shots in the air.Nobody ,hurt,so far.Some idiot across the street in the motel swimming pool area decided to play dirty Harry.Mind you,this is not a 2 lane side street,its 2 lanes each way,a turning center lane,and a parking lane on each side,so 7 car widths,and sidewalks.And a pool fence.So,as any good samaritan would,he took 4 shots at a fleeing suspect,killing 1 innocent bystander.If I recall,he got 10 yrs for manslaughter.
I commend you for your thoughtful restraint,and wish ALL weapon carrying readers could do the same.

daniel said...

I just walked into a Bank of America on cape cod and there was a guard armed with a revolver standing at the door. I laughed till I thought about it and realized how many times a year it gets robbed, The eastern bank by my house in Marston mills was robbed last week and one of the stores I do IT for was robbed yesterday just off cape, I have stopped feeling silly when I carry and even have a reload with me when going to the ATM.

Jay G said...


Just to clarify, I was not in the bank at the time this happened.

I hope that, should the time come, I will have the restraint if needed or the will if forced. But distance stayed my hand this time.