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A Retired Bank Robber Recalls How He Got a Teller Fired and More

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What is a “retired” bank robber, anyhow? Does that just mean you got out before you got caught?

Well, in the case of Reddit-user helloiamCLAY, who offered himself (or herself?) up for a popular AMA with tons of great stories, the answer is a bit complex:

5. “The real American Dream…”

In 2005-06, I studied and perfected the art of bank robbery. I never got caught…

Bank robbery is the real American Dream. We make movies about it, and as long as innocent people aren’t hurt or killed, our society loves bank robbers.

Also, it seemed like a worthy challenge. I thought it would be quite an accomplishment if I could solve the puzzle and figure out how to get away with it…

…I still went to prison, however, because about five months after my last robbery I turned myself in and served three years and some change.

4. The First Time

Apparently, people rob banks for lots of different reasons, but this cat did it for the challenge:

I think most first-timers do it out of desperation for their own personal financial problems, but career bank robbers — in my opinion — do it for the rush or the thrill rather than financial reasons…

…I researched for about five or six months prior to my first one. I studied mostly the things that people did to get caught, and I just tried to plan around those things.

It’s hard to know how people get away since those details rarely make it to the news, but studying how people get caught was incredibly helpful in knowing what to avoid.

Once I did my first bank, very little planning was needed for subsequent banks. I never really scoped out a particular location other than to make sure there was parking that was out of view from the bank.

But even this pro chickened out his/her first time:

It was scary the first time I tried, but I left and didn’t do it.

Though that obviously wasn’t the end of the story…

I returned the next day and wasn’t scared.

It’s not really something you can do if you’re afraid. Fear gets in the way of clear thinking.

But, no guns:

I strapped a hammer to my leg under my pants just below my knee in case I needed to break out of a locked door or something, but I never used a gun or anything like that.