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The Funny Side: Strange stories of Robbers and their Getaways

In 2008 was a case in Malaysia where robbers used a getaway car that was too small for all the money they had stolen

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Robbery (Representational Image), Pixabay
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– by Nury Vittachi

Nov 18, 2016: I saw cops chasing a guy down the street the other day. My first thought was, “Man, those guys are going to get great scores on their fitness band.”

Police and robbers should agree to a 30-second window between any actual bank robbery and the ensuing chase to give time for both sides to turn their step-counters on. Robber: “Ready, chap?” Cops: “Wait. Just need to click this. Okay, let’s do this thing.”

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Two days later, a reader sent me a news item from Florida on a related subject. A young female bank robber had no getaway car — so persuaded her dad to drive her to and from the bank “for a job interview”. She robbed the bank and leapt back into the car, telling him that the cash she was holding was her salary in advance. The conversation must have been interesting: “Hi sweetheart, how’d the interview go?” “Fine thanks, Dad, now DRIVE GO GO GO GO GO.” (Bullets fly.)

This writer canvassed sources for other offbeat getaways and a colleague shared an odd one from Ecuador. A professional footballer was in the middle of a game last month when police arrived to arrest him for non-payment of alimony. He pretended to become injured (footballers spend most of their training hours practising this) and was transferred by stretcher to an ambulance while police watched helplessly from the other side of the field.

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But perhaps the most cost-effective getaway of recent times was a curious theft in India this summer. Bank security guards put a large cash payment in a tightly secured train carriage. Robbers sitting on the roof of the moving train cut a hole into the carriage, snatched the money, and then jumped off. They were a huge distance away when the robbery was discovered — and they hadn’t spent a cent on a getaway car.

Someone reading over my shoulder (GO AWAY) has just referred me to a case from Kent in 2008. The robbers had a regular getaway car, but used a driver who just didn’t have the right mindset for car chases. They were only about 250 metres from the place they’d raided when a traffic light turned red. The driver stopped the car and politely signalled right to show pursuers which way they were going. Police caught them within minutes.

Also in 2008 was a case in Malaysia where robbers used a getaway car that was too small for all the money they had stolen. And there was a 2012 case in Texas where a bank customer got so scared during an armed robbery that she ran outside and drove away in the first car she could find — which turned out to be the robbers’ getaway car.

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But going back to escaping on foot, a long run through the centre of any city will boost your score on Pokemon Go and provide good opportunities to distract police officers chasing you. Robber (glancing at smartphone screen): “Oh my goodness, there’s a legendary Articuno, a Pokemon which has never been caught.” Cop: “Where? I mean, stop, there!” (Cops slow down and pull out phones.)

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to take a taxi to work, waving my fitness band out of the window all the way. (IANS)

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Safety Measures Needed After Chicago Is Hit By A Spate Of Home Break-Ins

With a spate of home break-ins occurring in Chicago recently, homeowners are rightly worried about their safety.

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A house on fire (Representational image). Pixabay

A host of home break-ins have occurred in Chicago recently, leaving residents concerned for their safety. On November, 3, two masked men broke into a home in Back of the Yards which was occupied by three adults and a young child. They then callously stole a number of personal effects and set the property on fire before fleeing the scene. Meanwhile, a series of thefts have been reported in the Portage Park neighborhood. Thankfully, these types of losses are usually covered by your home insurance policy. However, extra precautions should be taken by homeowners looking to fight back against Chicago’s home thieves.

Chicago
Sadly, the two intruders who set light to the South Damen property have not yet been caught. Pixabay

Safeguarding your home with a firearm

The two men who entered the property on South Damen Avenue were armed with a handgun which was used to strike the 56-year-old male occupant of the property. It’s in cases like this where homeowners can utilize their own firearms to protect both themselves and their property. Illinois state law permits individuals to keep guns in their home so long as they hold a valid FOID card. In October, a 71-year-old Chicago homeowner used his firearm to shoot an intruder in the hand, before the police turned up and arrested the suspect. Police confirmed that the elderly shooter would not face charges as he had a concealed carry license.

Make life difficult for burglars

It is not yet known how the masked duo broke into the family home in Back of the Yards. However, one of the simplest ways to prevent thieves from breaking into your property is to make it difficult for them. Safewise states that the average burglary takes just 10 minutes to complete as intruders want to be in and out as quickly as possible to reduce the risk of being caught. It’s best to avoid glass doors and surrounds as these are easily broken into. Similarly, don’t provide access to a criminal in the form of a large pet flap on your door. Additionally, you should always ensure that your home’s doors and windows are secured – even on hot night.

Chicago
American flag waves beside CCTV cameras. VOA

Hook up security cameras

Sadly, the two intruders who set light to the South Damen property have not yet been caught. Following the break-in, theft and subsequent fire, the pair reportedly ran away in an unknown direction and the local police and investigating the incident. However, one way to deter burglars is to hook up security cameras around your home. Studies show homes with security cameras are 300% less likely to broken into. This is because security cameras increase the risk of a criminal being caught after they’ve committed their crime as high-quality images will be released of them. Therefore, they are less likely to choose your home as a target, especially if you stick signs up outside your home stating that 24/7 video surveillance is in use.

Also Read: Online Hate Thriving Even After The Recent Hate Crime in The U.S.

With a spate of home break-ins occurring in Chicago recently, homeowners are rightly worried about their safety. But by keeping a firearm in your home, using security cameras and by making your home difficult to break into, you’ll be better protected than ever before.