Man Photographed For Viral Photography Blog Claims He Robbed A Lot Of Banks

A man claiming to have robbed numerous New York City banks in the 1990s appeared on Brandon Stanton’s popular Humans of New York blog this week.

We have no way of verifying this story, but in any case, the unnamed man had an interesting tale to tell. He said during his ’90s bank heists he would hand tellers notes to get the cash, and that he never had to carry a gun. Because the security footage was blurry at best during the late ’90s, he says, it was easy to get away with.

In a separate post Stanton published, the man said he didn’t commit a crime until he was 54. Then, he says, he went on a bank robbing spree after pulling a heist for the first time.

It’s been harder to rob banks these days, he says. The man says dye packs from banks exploded on him three separate times, with the worst occurring near Penn Station during the morning rush hour. He claims he heard a noise coming from his pants, followed by a bright neon cloud shooting up towards him. With many people watching, he tossed the money away, jumped in a cab, and went to a bar, according to his story.

In 1990, The New York Times reported a steep rise in bank robberies that was “baffling” both bankers and the FBI. From The Times:

Reasons for the increase are not clear. Law enforcement officials cite several possibilities: the spread of crack addiction, decreased attention by the authorities – who in some cases redeployed their forces against crack – and the recent return to the streets of some jailed bank robbers.

The banks hit most steadily, bank officials said, are midtown Manhattan branches. Most banks in poorer neighborhoods have installed teller windows of thick plastic while many midtown banks eschew them, and more robbers are blending into crowds or hopping on the subway instead of using getaway cars, the officials said.

During the late ’90s, there were at least a couple of prominent bank robberies within New York, such as the 1998 heist from a Bank of America within the World Trade Center in addition to the “Seven-Second Bandit.”

An NYPD spokesman told Business Insider the department is unable to identify a criminal based solely on a picture, although he advised sending the picture via email to the Deputy Commissioner of Public Information to see if the department can make a match. Business Insider is still waiting for that reply.

However, he added that if the man was never caught for any crime, there would be no way to identify him.

Here is the entire excerpt from the interview posted by Stanton, who gave us permission to use his pictures.

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