The situation just entered its upmost thrill, and you
feel that you just entered the point of no return. Do I run? Do I attack the
bank robber? Do I stay calm? So many choices, and so many dangerous outcomes.

I am telling you from personal experience, bank robbers are savages. They don’t
care about anyone but themselves and their dreams. Whether it is living the
American Dream or just scraping by to support your family, we all got dreams,
and a bank robber is no different.
I was also the dreamer type, but I set my bar way too high for my own good. My
future vision and dream was to rob as many banks, to amass as much money I
could before leaving for MexicoEO1 .

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But I was never the fierce type. I had my own ways of robbing banks, quick in
and out hits to perfection. But admittedly, my greed caught up to me and I took
my sentence proudly after. Not to brag but my personal score of successful bank
robberies is a score that will stay unbeaten, not only was I the one performing
the robberies, but now I am the one lecturing the banks.

I can finally stand here proudly and tell you that the
rehabilitation opened a new chapter of my life, a more lawful and educated man
with brighter dreams and a much brighter future.

But there are not many like me in this business, most
are ruthless and operate resolutely. Get in their way and you will feel their
commitment and dedication first hand. Like rats they chase their cheese, do not
get in their way.

That is why I, after serving my sentence fully dedicated my time to lecturing
banks on how to hinder and avert possible bank robberies and what you as a
hostage should do when you find yourself in that positionEO2 .


According to my research and personal experience, I
have found that banks do not have any major precautions in case a bank robbery
occurs. This is a big problem, the surprise of a robbery can catch you off
guard, and you would have to resort to spending some traumatic time together
with menacing bank robbers.

Before heading in to precautions, we need to look at
what bank robbers are primarily after. Aside from the big reward at the end of
the hassle, they undergo careful planning and “nit-picking” of banks. What crooks
usually look for is basically confidence from the clerks. According to
research, a simple hello from the clerk would instantly ring red bells all
across the mind of the crook.

The ideal bank takes close inspection both in and out,
singling out the perfect bank takes time, and the crook knows to be patient.

But why do bank robbers get scared by a measly ‘hello’? The truth behind the
bank robbers inside visit of the bank is very psychological, what he avoids are
confident and concentrated employees. If the customer was greeted with a
handshake, not only does that mean good service but also a big chance of the
clerk remembering the face and voice of the customer.
The most underrated precaution a bank could do is hire enthusiastic employees.

Outgoing employees that make a connection with the customer, as it is both the
bank and the customers greatest interest. A simple hello accommodated with a
firm handshake and eye contact could go very far. You can never go wrong with
building trust with your customers and maintaining the security of your complexEO3 .



While it is true that most employees won’t ever
experience a bank robbery, and the fact that money is becoming more
digitalized, this does not hinder the fact that it isn’t possibleEO4 .

In fact, the majority of banks getting robbed nowadays don’t take the necessary
This has been seen in the RCA’s (root case analysis) where banks are picked
solely based on their security level, an attractive bank is a vulnerable bank.

Thanks to previous RCA’s, investigation process and
records we can determine what kind of precautions a bank should undergo based
on criteria.
Evidence for one is very important; every bank should be equipped with video
surveillance such as Closed-circuit television (CCTV). This type of
surveillance is good information not only for the bank but the authorities. It
helps to identify the perpetrator, avert future robberies and is perfect for
the damage assessment. When I offer my services to banks, I always contact the
Chief Security Officer (CSO). The CSO and I go over standard procedures and
equipment. For example, bulletproof glass installations, video surveillance and
what the ground security is equipped with.
In case of emergency, I advise the security to be equipped with both non-lethal
weaponry and a lethal weapon. The security has to be able to determine the type
of emergency, and he/she needs to respond with appropriate force.
This is standard procedures as the Bank Protection Act requires all employees
and officers be trained annually on proper procedures for robberies. Lack of
training has shown irresponsible and dangerous actions by employeesEO5 .


A question I get asked a lot is “What should I do
during a robbery”. The simple answer is that it completely depends on the type
of robbery, a classic “take-over” robbery where perpetrators in groups enter
the bank with intimidation is very different from note passing robberies.

Appropriate training comes in very handy, if the teller knows what to do during
the note passing robbery no one will be hurt, however if the teller treats the
robbery as a joke or starts bringing attention to the robbery, things might get
out of hand quickly. The note passing robbery should go as smoothly and
silently as possible, the robber must be treated like a normal customerEO6 .

Even though most bank robbers only carry a weapon for intimidation and no
intent to use it, you should always
treat the gun as if it is loaded. I myself only carried unloaded guns, but
finding yourself on the other side of the barrel expecting a gun to be unloaded
is the dumbest thing you could ever do. Let the bank robbers finish what they
started, the less problems; the faster it goes.

The most important thing hostages should do during robberies is to find distinct
identifying marks on the robber, e.g. scars or tattoos. Evidence like this
makes the chances of finding and convicting the perp even higher as the CCTV
doesn’t pick up everything.

Staying calm during a robbery is the best thing a
hostage could do, the most valuable asset a takeover bank robber has is the
leverage. The leverage from their hostages. The police will not conclude any hastily decisions as long as the bank
robbers have leverage. For all they know, the bank robbers could start
threatening the police with inflicting harm towards the hostages if they try to
go in.
This is why staying calm and trying to get as much evidence as possible is the
top priority during a bank robbery. Trying to identify the things that stand
out; perhaps the robber walks funny, or maybe one of them talks like Kermit the
Many cases have been based on the distinct characteristics of the robbers, tattoos
and scars being the most commonEO7 .


In conclusion, I want you to remember that bank
robbers are like rats, the banks being their cheese. The more precautions you
take, the mouldier the cheese getsEO8 .

I have realized during my time that the craft of cheesemaking takes time and
dedication. That is why I aspire in life to make the mouldiest cheese a bank
robber would ever lay their eyes on.

So, the next time someone tries to rob a bank, rest assured it will look
unattractive and that my personal score will stay unbeatenEO9 .


I'm Erica!

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