Trader Turned Bank Robber's Plan Didn't Leave Room For Rookie Mistakes, Old DUI Charges


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.

Mistake number one: "he carelessly left a fingerprint on a note he passed to a bank teller." Mistake number two: he forgot about having a record.

Police checked their database and matched the print to a teenager who was arrested for drunk-driving back in 1984. The teenager was Stephen.

So! What have we learned today? If there's a record of your fingerprints anywhere, you'd best take extra precautions when robbing a bank. If you were arrested at Preakness ten years ago but it was expunged, you can rob banks worry-free.

My Banker Husband Was Actually A Bank Robber [Mirror via BI]