How to rob a bank

While it’s fresh in my mind, I’m going to write this out. Just in case, you know, I get called for grand jury testimony or something. >_< Today around 1 PM, I went down to Pier 1 on the Conservancy-owned bicycle to take the “to be deposited” cash sitting in the safe there to the Capital One Bank up on Joralemon St. It had already been counted, so I just filled out a deposit slip, separated the bills by denomination, and headed up Joralemon St. to the bank. On the way, I called my dad to ask how to switch gears (I haven’t ridden a bike in years, and while actually riding the thing is like… well, like riding a bike, I hadn’t quite remembered how to switch gears) and he and my mom let me know what to do. It’s a relief that bicycles are somewhat standardized.

Anyway, I got to the bank, parked the bike outside, went inside, and got in line for the teller. I was behind a couple of people, and while they were being helped, I watched the news on CNN. I remember some commercial for American Morning and a short news piece about the escalator going backwards at the Tokyo Wonder Festival (Wikipedia|Main). Then, there was something about the difference between Senator Obama’s and Senator McCain’s respective presidential health care plans.

I was shaking my head morosely at McCain’s health care ideas and the guy behind me, a 40s-something white guy with blond hair and blue eyes wearing a yellow shirt, said, “Yeah, McCain sucks.” I said, “I don’t know how just giving more tax breaks is really going to help anything in the long run.” He nodded and said, “Yeah, I’m definitely voting for Obama. I just want this election thing to be over with and Bush to finally be out of office.” I was about to say something, but I was called up to the teller, so I smiled and went on my way. I went to the end teller where a nice black lady with pretty nails counted the Conservancy’s deposit multiple times (it was over by $20, apparently—which is better than under by $20, at least, right?). I had to give her my ID because the amount was so high and waited patiently while the counts were (re)counted.

The guy behind me went up to the teller two windows down from mine (there were only two windows open at that time) and I looked over and watched him pass the lady a note. She looked at it, looked back at him, and took all the money out of her register and gave it to him. Her hands were shaking, but he just took the cash and headed out the door as if nothing had happened. I remember thinking, “I don’t really have time for a bank robbery today.” The lady behind the window went into full panic mode and started crying and shaking so bad that my teller stopped what she was doing to call the manager. (No one but the robbed teller and I knew the bank had been robbed by that point since we were the only ones paying attention to anything besides what was right in front of us.) The assistant manager came and the teller gasped out, “We’ve been robbed.” And then the bank went into lock down; no one in or out. Within 10 minutes, police had swarmed the place and there was a uniformed officer taking statements from all the “witnesses” (meaning, everyone in the bank at the time of the robbery). My transaction continued on as normal and I successfully deposited the Pier 1 money and then made change for the little restaurant/bar there. Then, I had to wait.

I called Beth at the office and told her that I had deposited the cash and made change like I was supposed to, but that the bank had been robbed and I would be there for a while. She said, “WHAT?” and then said, “All right, well, just let us know what happens when you get back.” (I learned later that she called Laurence, the guy who runs Pier 1, and let him know as well that I would be late.)

I was called to give a statement. The officer asked for my identification and phone number and cringed when I said “818…” which is an out-of-state area code, but she took it down anyway. She asked for my order in line (I said, “I was standing in front of the guy.”) and if we had spoken at all before I’d gone to the teller. I said that we had talked about McCain’s crappy health care plans, that I had been called to the teller, and that I had watched the guy pass the other teller his note. I said I didn’t know what the note said, I but I could guess. And, as an afterthought, I mentioned that he’d been wearing a yellow shirt. She said that, yes, they knew that already (the bank was equipped with cameras) but that apparently the guy had changed his shirt after leaving (I don’t know how she knew that, but she’s a cop, so whatever). She thanked me for my time and said she’d let me know when I could leave.

So, I sat around for a while with the change for Pier 1 in my bag. When I was finally let go, I had to ask two officers to move so I could move the bike (at least no one would take it with them standing around like that) and I headed back to Pier 1. I thought to myself, “Rob a bank with a note and (I assume) a threat? Who does that anymore? So clichéd.” When I got there, I gave Laurence the cash and rode back to the office, where we all had a good laugh and people joked about how maybe I shouldn’t handle money anymore because when I do, places get robbed. Hahahaha. Hohohoho. >_< I got back around 3 PM. You know, for a bank robbery, it was pretty tame. (Yeah, right... because I have so much else besides TV and movies to use for comparison. LOL.) And, yes Mom, I'm fine. Everything is fine.

Viannah E. Duncan

Viannah E. Duncan is a writer and activist hailing originally from Los Angeles. She lives outside of Baltimore, Maryland, and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Wilkes University. She has a cat, Cleo.

2 thoughts on “How to rob a bank

  • Thursday, 28 August 2008 at 04:08:26

    oh my god that was the dumbest thing i ever read r u a complete moron no wonder u work at pier 1 your story sucked didnt thrill me whatsoever almost fell asleep while reading it thank go u aint a real writer cause u are the dumbest person in the world

  • Thursday, 21 July 2011 at 14:04:07

    as it is 3 years since you wrote that comment i hope you have grown a few braincells maybe even learned how to spell ‘are’ and ‘you’ and woah maybe you even learned how to spell ‘god’? 🙂


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