Mobile Phones And Bank Heists… Perfect Together
from the high-tech-theft dept
Who knew mobile phones were so integral to bank robbing? Last year, there was the famous story of the bank robber who would be chatting on her mobile phone while holding up a teller, and then there was the bank robber who tried to rob a bank by calling them up and demanding money (that one didn’t work out so well). Still, it seemed a bit strange to see a story over at Textually about a bank that has been banning mobile phones for security reasons. Plenty of banks these days ask people not to use mobile phones for reasons of courtesy — but this bank insists it’s for security: “We ban cell phone use in the lobby,” Senior Vice President Ralph Oster said, “because you don’t know what people are doing.” That seemed a little silly… but it was only 18 minutes later that Textually posted another story about gangs using camera phones in banks to plan their attack. Apparently, one member inside would snap photos of people withdrawing large sums of money, and then send the photos to accomplices outside, so they could mark the victim as they left the bank. This way, the victim is never directly followed out of the bank. Of course, it’s unclear how common this — or how useful. Also not particularly clear is how the police know this is what’s happening. The article talks about two people who were mugged after leaving a bank — but doesn’t indicate how they know someone inside was taking camera phone photos at all. For all we know, they could simply have been mugged by someone on the street who saw them leaving a bank.