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Top 9 Most Notorious Bank Robbers in History

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7. Jesse James

When one thinks of the American “Old West”, one can’t help but think of Jesse James, who formed a group of outlaws and participated in the first American bank robbery during peacetime. This occurred in early February of 1866. More bank robberies would follow, and the gang would also rob trains and stagecoaches.

James really became infamous in 1869 after shooting a cashier he mistakenly believed to be a militia man who killed “Bloody Bill” Anderson, one of James’ fellow guerrillas during the Civil War. James claimed to have done so out of a desire for a revenge; tragically, though, all he really did was shoot the wrong person and attract the sort of attention he probably didn’t want.

James had truly become an outlaw, and the governor of Missouri set up a reward for James’ capture. Over time, most of his gang ended captured or dead; the only people he could trust were two brothers—the Fords. He shouldn’t have trusted them, though. Robert Ford had been negotiating in secret with the governor and wanted to collect the reward money. While unarmed and dusting a picture, James was shot in the back of the head by Robert Ford.

Ford and his brother would actually be charged with first-degree murder after they wired the governor, looking for their reward money. While they were sentenced to die via hanging, they were eventually pardoned by the governor with whom they had been negotiating. They received a small portion of the reward and left Missouri.

H/T – Source

8. Bruce Reynolds

Bruce Reynolds put together a gang of 15 men to participate in the 1963 Great Train Robbery, which was Britain’s largest robbery at the time. Roughly 2.6 million British pounds—in 120 sacks of money—were stolen by the gang.

After the robbery, Reynolds moved to Canada for a while and then moved back to the United Kingdom. He was using a fake name, but as he was low on cash, he made the unfortunate choice to get in touch with his old criminal contacts. He was arrested and sentenced to 25 years in custody. Later, after being released, he would engage in money laundering and dealing drugs.

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Reynolds would end up back in prison for another 3 years. He wrote about his time as a criminal in his autobiography and consulted on a film about the Great Train Robbery, but otherwise had trouble securing employment, as no one wanted to hire a former criminal. He died in 2013.

9. The Geezer Bandit

Still at large and a genuine mystery, the “Geezer Bandit” has robbed 13 banks in Southern California. The most recent robbery occurred in 2011 in San Luis Obispo.

No one knows who the apparently elderly man is, and “Geezer Bandit” is the name given to him by the Federal Bureau of Investigations. He appears to be a man between 60 and 70 years of age, but it has been suggested that he is actually a young man in disguise due to the fact he can run more quickly than one would expect from an elderly man.

The bandit, when robbing a bank, enters the building like a normal customer would, and he then draws a revolver from a leather case, demanding money via a note handed to the teller. Currently, he has stolen over $130,000.

There is currently a $20,000 reward for information leading to the capture of the “Geezer Bandit”, but not everyone wants to see him caught. He actually has a number of fans who seem to support him and what he does, and there are Facebook pages dedicated to him and his crimes. Since he last robbed a bank in 2011, it seems possible that the “Geezer Bandit” might have put his criminal ways behind him for good.

H/T – Source

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Written by Kevin Barrett

Kevin Barrett is an award-winning reporter currently residing in one of the many suburbs of Philadelphia. In addition to working in journalism, he was worked in higher education and logistics. He is single, but does have a distracting little dog who keeps him from achieving maximum productivity.

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