How do I rob a bank

The 10 most incredible and biggest bank robberies

The grandpa gang

Three sprightly pensioners wanted to improve their pensions, who had been on the prowl in the Märkischer Kreis for 16 years and captured around 1.3 million euros in the process. All in all, the three seniors aged 64, 73 and 74 robbed 14 banks - and were by no means the nice grandpas next door.

Some of them had already been in prison for several years and now hoped to be able to take a pleasant retirement through bank robberies.

It was not uncommon for the aging criminals to struggle with physical ailments: during an attack, one of them slipped on an icy surface and had to be dragged into the getaway car. The weak blisters, which led to constant pee breaks, were also very annoying, as one of the robbers said during the interrogation.

Not easy prey

A man from the US state of Alabama looted almost $ 200,000 in March 2016 by gaining access to the Federal Reserve and stealing the money from the warehouse there. A very common bank robbery - if the perpetrator hadn't stolen the entire amount in quarter-dollar coins.

There can be no question of easy prey here, because the coins weighed a total of around four and a half tons. How the perpetrator was able to transport this mountain of money is not yet known - and whether he is now swimming in the money like Scrooge McDuck, either.

In any case, he can expect up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $ 250,000.

Unsuspecting accomplice

Actually, the American Luke Weinert just wanted to do an old lady a nice favor - and then almost ended up in jail himself. The 70-year-old, who had rented an apartment from Weinert's mother, was taken to the bank by the young man.

Unsuspecting, he wants to take her home after the bank visit when he is stopped by two policemen and forced to get out at gunpoint. “Oh no!” Is the brief reaction of the elderly woman who had just threatened with a gun at the bank counter and demanded an unknown amount of money.

Accused of complicity, the unsuspecting Weinert had to face an hour-long interrogation and convince the police of his innocence.

Swallowed up by the ground

The one bank robbery that made headlines across Germany in 2013 was ready for Hollywood. In Berlin-Steglitz, the perpetrators rented an underground car park with false papers in order to dig a 45 meter long and 1.5 meter high tunnel to the neighboring bank branch.

Nobody noticed the building for months, so the perpetrators were able to clear the bank's lockers with peace of mind.

The booty with which the still unknown perpetrators disappeared unnoticed - as if swallowed from the ground - is said to be worth around 10 million euros.

Famous role models

The idea with the tunnel is of course not new. Franz and Erich Sass, probably the most famous bank robbers of the 1920s, had a very similar idea when they broke into the Disconto-Gesellschaft on Berlin's Wittenbergplatz in 1929.

Instead of an underground car park, the cellar of the neighboring house served as the start of a tunnel that was built in weeks of work and led the crooks into the vault. How much the brothers stole has never been established.

Precision, local knowledge and intelligent implementation and planning ensured that the brothers, known as gentleman crooks, could not initially be proven despite suspicions.

Crook with decency

Politeness is probably not a virtue that can be attributed to a bank robber. But Harald Zirngibl knows how to behave. The bank robber, who became known as a broomstick robber, was always polite to the bank employees - even if he often locked them up and locked the door with a broomstick.

Nevertheless, he always said “please” and “thank you”, as he himself emphasized. Between 1992 and 1998 he robbed a total of 16 banks and looted around 4.6 million DM.

In February 2016, Zirngibl hit the headlines again because he extorted one million Swiss francs and diamonds from FC Bayern Munich. By the way, you can read about his life as a bank robber in his biography "Conversations with a real bank robber".

The big coup

In May 2000, perpetrators hoped for large booty from a break-in in a North Rhine-Westphalian bank. But breaking the safe was such a big hurdle for them that they gave up unsuccessfully and fled.

When they escaped, they were able to pick up a banknote after all: an ancient five-D-Mark note that was hung up as a sample in the counter room.

Bank robbery on command

One of the largest bank robberies of all time is the one billion dollars in cash that Saddam Hussein looted on the eve of the bombing of his country on March 18, 2003.

He sent his son to the bank with a power of attorney, where he and his helpers heaved the innumerable packages of money onto a truck and then transported them to the presidential palace. In fact, this robbery was actually the largest cash withdrawal, since Saddam considered the central bank to be his personal property anyway.

He couldn't do much with the money, however, as he was executed a little later. $ 650 million was found in the walls of the palace. Where the remaining $ 350 million is remains unclear to this day.

Digital bank robbery

Saddam Hussein faces serious competition from a syndicate of Chinese, Russian and European hackers who have stolen up to a billion US dollars in a period of two years. Weapons and masks were not necessary because the bank robberies were all handled over the Internet.

In a total of 30 countries, cyber criminals got ATMs to withdraw money on command. This was transferred from third-party accounts to one's own, by previously infecting the bank employees' computers with malware via an email attachment.

With this, the perpetrators were able to track all activities and transfer the money to their own accounts.

Fatal spelling mistake

In March 2016 it could have been one of the biggest bank robberies in history if the unknown perpetrators hadn't made an embarrassing typo. The hackers used a security hole in the central bank of Bangladesh to access accounts of the US Federal Bank New York.

This enabled them to transfer money to accounts in the Philippines and Sri Lanka - until a typo appeared on the fifth transfer. The alleged "Shalika Fandation" caught the bankers' eye because the English word for foundation is spelled "Foundation".

Transfers of $ 850 million were still pending at the time and were then canceled. Nevertheless, the perpetrators are not entirely poor: The first four successful transfers brought them in at least 81 million dollars. So far there is no trace of the money or the perpetrators.