One of the robbers had completed a mail-order
locksmithing course from Foley-Belsaw.
I always tell people that of any crime, robbing a bank seems the one with the worst risk-reward ratio – you’re taking a huge risk for a small reward. Banks have cameras and security measures everywhere, sometimes armed guards, and lots of witnesses, while most of the money tends to be locked up in a big strong safe. But Ray Bowman and Billy Kirkpatrick successfully robbed banks for 15 years. Read how they did it in Alex Kotlowitz’s article The Trenchcoat Robbers:
Of the seven thousand one hundred and twenty-seven bank robberies in the United States in 2000, the average take was just twelve hundred dollars, and most of the thieves were eventually captured. Bank robberies tend to be committed by inexperienced and desperate people, but Bowman and Kirkpatrick always worked with remarkable preparation and restraint, and they never bragged about their successes. They operated for fifteen years, one year less than Jesse James and his gang, and they robbed an average of two banks annually – always in a different city or town across the Midwest and Northwest. "They’re a throwback to the old days,"one veteran F.B.I.agent told me."I hope we don’t see anyone like them again." Bowman and Kirkpatrick were finally captured, but only after a number of small, uncharacteristic missteps, which resulted, in large part, from a middleaged desire to lead more ordinary lives.
Read the entire story: The Trenchcoat Robbers. After fifteen years and twenty-seven banks, they finally tripped up, The New Yorker. Alex Kotlowitz>>
– Picture is from the Foley-Belsaw Locksmithing Guide Book>>