Saturday, September 1, 2007

Why Do People Rob Banks? That’s Where The Customer-Friendly Branches Are

There was an article in the New York Times a couple weeks ago about an increase in bank robberies. Interesting thing is that police were putting some blame on banks being too “customer-friendly.” This reminded me of all the business requirements meetings I’ve been in where you have people representing all important parts of the organization. This would always include Security. Not only that, but security would always be on the mind of everyone involved. When authenticating someone in an application, there are things you obviously think about.

I wonder if this were true when these new bank branches were being designed. Did the interior designer meet with a bank-robbery specialist? Seems like the answer is no. They seem solely focused on designing the branches to draw more clients into the branch, do less to thwart robbery attempts.

When I read the article, I was also struck by the thread of all the recent silly bank robbers I’ve heard of in the news. They seem to be pointing to a new bank robber persona:


Where are Bonnie & Clyde? Where are Mr. Orange and Mr. White casing the bank? Where are Sonny Wortzik and Salvatore Naturile (The real Dog Day Afternoon bank robbers). The nostalgia we have for old skool bank robbers has been replaced by bumbling n00bs. Now they wear flip flops, silly hats, duct tape or even underwear on their heads. They clearly don’t spend lots of time planning their robberies. Is this because they don’t have to? Have the smart ones moved on to the field of Identity Theft or pyramid schemes? Will the next era of bank robbery movies have these knuckleheads as the main characters?

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