Stephen Trantel

In 2003, Stephen Trantel lost his trading job, though he left the house “for work” every morning to keep up appearances with his wife. He couldn’t find a new gig and didn’t know what he was going to do. Then one day while sitting in his car, after being unemployed for over two months, it came to him.

“I was just sitting in my truck looking out the window. And I’m like: ‘I need money right now. What can I do where nobody’s gonna get hurt?’ I just came to this epiphany that there’s no other way. If I wanna hold on to everything, then I’ve got to steal money.”

He started “researching” how one goes about robbing a bank without getting caught and found out a few things, like that 80% of the people who rob banks are caught in their getaway car so he “took that out of the equation. Stephen decided to “focus on one bank at time,” and “observing that most blue-collar men and cops cash their cheques on a Wednesday, avoided mid-week heists.” He planned his escape route in advance and on the big day, would wear a disguise that consisted of a baseball cap, sunglasses and a fake ‘stache. He’d enter the bank, identify “the weakest” teller and despite not actually having a gun, would slip him or her a note that read, “Hey, I have a gun. No funny games. No alarm.” This worked out pretty well for a while and Stephen successfully robbed 9 banks. Until he made two big mistakes. Read more »