The 5 Dumbest Credit Union Robbers of 2015 (So Far).
Byline: Tina Orem
People do a lot of stupid things and robbing credit unions is one of them.
It's all too common. There were 3,961 financial institution robberies in 2014, according to the FBI, which works out to at least a dozen every business day. Of those robberies, 312 were at credit unions (about 8%).
Firearms, explosives or other weapons were involved about a quarter of the time, but acts of violence were committed only 3% of the time, the FBI said. However, those acts caused 63 injuries, about half of which were to employees. They also killed 13 people, two of whom were employees (10 of the 13 were the perpetrators; one was a customer).
One obvious goal of robbery is to not get caught, which is why many criminals use a variety of creative tactics to hide their faces. But what makes robbery particularly stupid is that the average cash take is only about $6,000 after factoring in the money that's eventually recovered, according to the more recent available FBI data.
That won't be nearly enough to cover the legal bills these five bizarre-looking credit union robbers will face.
1. Just try to blend in.On Jan. 8, two robbers wearing orange safety vests -- which are designed to make people more visible -- entered an SAC Federal Credit Union branch in Council Bluffs, Iowa, at around 10 a.m. One of the suspects was also wearing a hard hat; the other wore a dark stocking cap, according to local news reports. They left in a black four-door car. SAC FCU has $775 million in assets and 91,000 members.
2. May The (police) Force be with you. On March 16, this person walked into a Pineville State Employees Credit Union branch in Pineville, N.C. around 11:45 a.m., according to a local report. No one was injured during the robbery, the report said. The suspect was arrested hours after the robbery for driving a stolen SUV; investigators later charged him with the robbery after the suspect made reference during a recorded jail cell call to "what really happened," according to a local news report. Witnesses said "Darth" was only about 5 feet, 5 inches tall. Photo source: wsoctv.com
3. Stubble trouble.On April 20, this person donned a bright orange shirt and robbed an UNCLE Credit Union branch in Tracy, Calif. That credit union has $300 million in assets and 22,000 members. The suspect was caught in August and booked at the San Joaquin County jail, according to a local news report. No word on whether the suspect thought the beard looked real. Photo source: GoldenStateNewspapers.com
4. Smile, your mustache is on camera.This robber was caught after robbing the Affinity Plus Credit Union in Rochester, Minn. on June 19 after surveillance video from a local Walmart showed him buying a hoodie sweatshirt, mustache and hat 40 minutes before the crime, according to a local news report. The suspect was already in jail for leading officers on a chase when he confessed to the crime, it said. Affinity Plus CU has $1.7 billion in assets and 182,000 members. Photo source: kttc.com
5. Next stop: The prison barber. Most recently, on Sept. 3, this character robbed the $2.9 billion, 295,000-member Members 1st Federal Credit Union branch in York, Penn. around 3:15 p.m. The male suspect tried to disguise himself as a woman with a curly black or dark brown wig, according to local news reports. Photo source: abc27.com