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Being a robber is one thing; being rude, is another.

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Being a robber is one thing; being rude, is another.

Old 11-11-05, 10:27 AM
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Being a robber is one thing; being rude, is another.

I am of the opinion that cell phones, while incredibly handy and useful, should not supplant human contact in certain situations, like, say ordering food at a fast food counter. You should get off the phone, and talk to the person taking your order.

Here's a woman who has taken it to an extreme.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...002009_pf.html

By Tom Jackman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, November 11, 2005; A01

When it comes to multitasking, it's hard to beat the woman who can rob a bank and never interrupt her cell phone conversation.

In an act of either incredible cool or something much more sinister, a young woman has robbed four Wachovia bank branches in Northern Virginia in recent weeks, all while seemingly immersed in cell phone chats, police say. In the most recent holdup, on Nov. 4 in Ashburn, video footage shows the woman to be almost uninterested as a teller hands her a stack of cash, and she continues talking on her phone as she turns and walks out of the bank.

"This is the first time that I can recall where we've had a crime committed while the person was using a cell phone," said Loudoun County sheriff's spokesman Kraig Troxell, echoing comments by officials from other law enforcement agencies. "The question would be whether anyone is on the other end of the line or not."

The cell phone bandit first struck in Vienna on Oct. 12. A woman in her twenties with dark hair, about 5 feet 2 to 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighing 120 to 130 pounds, walked in carrying a box and talking on a cell phone. She moved directly to the teller counter and displayed the shoebox-size box, which had a note taped on it demanding cash. Police would not disclose the wording of the note.

As in the other cases, the robber exchanged few or no words with the teller, because she apparently was busy talking to someone else. She scooped up the cash, started walking and kept talking.

In the most recent robbery, however, there was a twist, Troxell said: a gun.

During her brief visit to the Wachovia branch at 43780 Parkhurst Plaza in Ashburn, the woman carried a purse and simply opened it up, showing the gun to the teller about 5:30 p.m., Troxell said. Then she handed over a note demanding cash, with the cell phone still firmly attached to her ear, Troxell said.

The tellers have not been able to hear much of the conversations, police said. Troxell said the chat from the robber's end on Nov. 4 was mainly a bunch of "okays."

About 3:30 p.m. Oct. 22 at the Wachovia branch at 7030 Old Keene Mill Rd. in Springfield, the woman did speak briefly to the teller, Fairfax County police spokeswoman Mary Mulrenan said. "She was well-spoken, in English, with a light Hispanic accent," she said.

It appeared to witnesses that there was someone on the other end of the robber's line that day, Mulrenan said. "The huge leap that we're making," she said, "is that she's talking to somebody that knows what's going on, possibly a lookout." Mulrenan said the robber was "speaking on the cell phone the whole time that she's robbing the bank."

If she's not conversing with a co-conspirator, investigators have theorized, she could just be using the phone as a prop. "Is she talking to someone," Troxell said, "or using it to make herself look less noticeable or nonchalant as she approaches the teller?" Some might argue that people who stay on a cell phone throughout a bank transaction tend to draw attention to themselves.

Fred Desroches, a sociology professor at the University of Waterloo in Canada, interviewed 80 bank robbers for a book on the subject. He categorized robbers as either aggressive or covert, and because the cell phone robber falls into the latter category, he doubted she was talking to a co-conspirator. "You don't really need a partner" to quietly rob a bank, Desroches said, "you don't get that much money, and then you have to split it."

He theorized that "maybe because she's a woman, she feels less secure physically, and by talking to somebody, it makes her feel secure." Or, Desroches added, "maybe she's talking to her mother."

In Fairfax County, she became the county's third female bank robber in 12 heists this year, Mulrenan said. That 25 percent rate is more than double the national average: Federal crime statistics show that women are responsible for about 10 percent of bank holdups.

The first of the cell phone robberies occurred the morning of Oct. 12 at the Wachovia branch at 212 E. Maple Ave. in downtown Vienna. Lt. Russ Marsh said the woman appeared to be using her phone the whole time, did not show a gun and used the note-taped-to-a-box approach to make her intentions known. He could not recall any phone-equipped robbers, and very few female robbers, in Vienna's past.

Police are investigating cell phone usage in the vicinity of the robberies at the time they were committed but have not identified a suspect. Not all the surveillance videotape has produced clear images of the woman.

The second robbery was at the Wachovia branch at 8441 Sudley Rd. in Manassas on Oct. 21. Photos show the robber coming through the bank's door, already on the phone, and holding the threatening box. Prince William police Sgt. Kim Chinn said the woman did not speak to the teller and did not show a weapon.

Police don't know why only Wachovia branches have been targeted, and they would not disclose the amount of money taken.

The third robbery was the next day, in Springfield. Then there was a pause of nearly two weeks before the Nov. 4 robbery in Ashburn, the first to involve a weapon.

"It appears, with the handgun," Marsh said, "maybe she's escalating" the seriousness of her threats.

Anyone with information about any of the robberies is asked to call Crime Solvers at 866-411-TIPS.
Old 11-11-05, 11:26 AM
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What about the possibility that she is being coerced into doing this and the real crook is on the phone telling her what to do? Unlikely, but plausible.
Old 11-11-05, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Numanoid
What about the possibility that she is being coerced into doing this and the real crook is on the phone telling her what to do? Unlikely, but plausible.

[Hollywod producer] I love it! Can you get me a treatment by Monday? [/Hp]
Old 11-11-05, 11:35 AM
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Unless she's an idiot, I'd say extremely unlikely. How hard is it to figure out how to rob a bank?
Old 11-11-05, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Numanoid
What about the possibility that she is being coerced into doing this and the real crook is on the phone telling her what to do? Unlikely, but plausible.
Interesting.. start writing the script, we've got a new hollywood blockbuster on our hands..

Or the other likely scenario is that the person on the other end is monitoring the police scanners and would tell her if someone was on the way..
Old 11-11-05, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Bandoman
[Hollywod producer] I love it! Can you get me a treatment by Monday? [/Hp]

"Marry me!"
Old 11-11-05, 01:30 PM
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Can you hear me now? Good! Now hand over the money.
Old 11-11-05, 08:09 PM
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Maybe she's trying to cover? It looks like she is just doing an ordinary transaction to other people in the bank.

Or, she's just one of those ridiculous people who is addicted to talking on their cell phone, and she is robbing banks to pay her roaming charges.
Old 11-11-05, 08:12 PM
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They were talking about this on the radio this a.m. ... they think she is talking to the getaway car driver/lookout.
Old 11-11-05, 10:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Numanoid
What about the possibility that she is being coerced into doing this and the real crook is on the phone telling her what to do? Unlikely, but plausible.
Not telling her what to do, but telling her that he will harm somebody that the robber cares about if she doesn't go through with it.

Remember the case a couple of years ago where the person had a bomb attached to his neck? And it detonated after he left the bank and was stopped by police? (killing him, of course)
Old 11-11-05, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Heat
Not telling her what to do, but telling her that he will harm somebody that the robber cares about if she doesn't go through with it.

Remember the case a couple of years ago where the person had a bomb attached to his neck? And it detonated after he left the bank and was stopped by police? (killing him, of course)
I remember that. Were there any updates to that story?
Old 11-11-05, 10:59 PM
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The bomb went off after he left the bank. He's dead. What kind of updates were you thinking about?
Old 11-11-05, 11:01 PM
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Originally Posted by DVD Polizei
The bomb went off after he left the bank. He's dead. What kind of updates were you thinking about?
Did they catch the guys that put him up to it? How did they pick that guy to do the job? What did they do to get him to do it?
Old 11-11-05, 11:27 PM
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So if i am reading this right, the lady walks in talking on her cell and walks up to a teller with a box. Then she gives a note to teller, that basically says "give me all your money or i will kill you" or something to that extent. She doesn't show any weapon or anything and walks out with the money??

I did see that she shows a gun once, but the other times she doesn't show any weapons? Man these bank people are just begging people to take their money. I know your not supposed to resist during a robbery but come on.
Old 11-11-05, 11:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Kocheese99
Man these bank people are just begging people to take their money. I know your not supposed to resist during a robbery but come on.
Why resist? It's not your money, and you probably will get fired if you put up a fight (and live)
Old 11-11-05, 11:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Kocheese99
I did see that she shows a gun once, but the other times she doesn't show any weapons? Man these bank people are just begging people to take their money. I know your not supposed to resist during a robbery but come on.
Yeah, I would defend federally-insured money with my life if I were a teller being paid $7.50 an hour.
Old 11-12-05, 01:25 AM
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Originally Posted by chrisih8u
I remember that. Were there any updates to that story?
I never heard any more on it. It hasn't happened again though, so maybe they did arrest somebody.
Old 11-12-05, 10:48 PM
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don't worry guys. i live in Northern Virginia and bank with Wachovia. i'll find her for sure. no one messes with my bank of choice!
Old 11-13-05, 06:26 PM
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Always thought a mobile phone was the best way to rob a bank. Hand over a note to a teller saying that if they don't give you the money - or try to stop you in any way, then the person at the other end of the line will execute a child. Do they hand over federally insured money, or have the death of a child on their conscience.

If you go off the line, or stop acknowedging your "partner" for more than 5 seconds or similar, then that's a signal that you've been stopped.

Now sure, the teller doesn't know if there IS a child killer at the end of the phone, but would you take a chance?

Not sure if this is a case of the technique being put into practice, but it's something that I think would be reasonably effective.

Edit: of course the tellers would have mentioned if it was. D'oh!
Old 11-13-05, 06:34 PM
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In case you haven't seen her photo...

Old 11-13-05, 07:07 PM
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Well, either she's trying to blend in or she's going to use it as an excuse. Detectives will have to trace the calls made at that time on that phone, and if they can't find the phone or if by some chance they can't track the numbers, well, she may get a lighter sentence.
Old 11-13-05, 07:30 PM
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For those who may not be aware of the pizza bomber...here's a story (complete with photo of the device used, and a photo of the poor guy strapped in it before it went off). Why does it suddenly make me think of Saw?

The story.

I saw on tv just recently (in the last week or so) that they definitely caught the guy responsible for it...I think his (ex?)wife/girlfriend was able to identify him based on his "trademark" type designs...both their initials were the same...like for example "J" so he would always incorporate J & J into what he was making....still trying to find the update....and the only thing I could find is this. This is from America's Most Wanted...but it doesn't say who did it, however it does mention the J shaped thing...

This is gonna kill me making me wonder on what station I saw this...
Old 11-13-05, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by harpo787
For those who may not be aware of the pizza bomber...here's a story (complete with photo of the device used, and a photo of the poor guy strapped in it before it went off). Why does it suddenly make me think of Saw?

The story.

I saw on tv just recently (in the last week or so) that they definitely caught the guy responsible for it...I think his (ex?)wife/girlfriend was able to identify him based on his "trademark" type designs...both their initials were the same...like for example "J" so he would always incorporate J & J into what he was making....still trying to find the update....and the only thing I could find is this. This is from America's Most Wanted...but it doesn't say who did it, however it does mention the J shaped thing...

This is gonna kill me making me wonder on what station I saw this...
Thanks, great links. I didnt know that the victim had other stuff to do in addition to the bank robbery. Crazy shit.
Old 11-13-05, 08:01 PM
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It was on America's Most Wanted.
Old 11-14-05, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by harpo787
I saw on tv just recently (in the last week or so) that they definitely caught the guy responsible for it...I think his (ex?)wife/girlfriend was able to identify him based on his "trademark" type designs...both their initials were the same...like for example "J" so he would always incorporate J & J into what he was making....still trying to find the update....This is gonna kill me making me wonder on what station I saw this...
Yeah it was America's Most Wanted... I don't remember if they caught the guy or was it that he was suspected, but there was no evidence to charge him etc.

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