The bank robber who never stole money

The bank robber who never stole money

William Sutton robbed banks.

When famous bank robber William "Willie" Sutton was asked why he robbed banks, he was quoted as saying "because that’s where the money is."

He actually never said that quote, but it fit his legend – he was a compulsive bank robber who stole from about 100 banks from the 1920s to the 1950s.

Another man also had a compulsion.

From March to May 2013, William Footman robbed banks, but in a less risky way. Instead of stealing money from inside the bank, this modern-day William tried a different tactic. From The New York Times:

There was an element of genius in the string of bank heists that played out in New York City for 11 weeks over the winter and spring. No alarms. No threatening notes, no messy dye packs. No one even noticed the thefts right off.

This was surely because no money was taken. But the thief was not after cash. What he stole was something a real bank robber would not even notice on the way to the teller’s window, but was, to him, of value.

Those little rugs inside the front door.

The police would later create a list of six bank branches that were victims. That wasn’t even close.

"Thirty-seven incidents," said Melissa Shuffield, a spokeswoman for JPMorgan Chase, the thief’s preferred bank.

Mr. Footman said he sold the rugs to bodegas for maybe $30 each.

He had been arrested and jailed many times since the 1990s.

He was eventually caught during his rug-stealing spree when he used the same stolen debit card to enter a bank lobby after hours.

Because, after all, that’s where the rug is.

A Thief Struck Many Banks, but Never Took a Dime, The New York Times>>

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