Crime: The Amateurs

Time was when the bank robber was the prince of professional criminals. But nowadays, it seems, the rankest amateurs can knock over a bank—and a remarkable number of them are trying it. In 1932, the bank-heisting heyday of John Dillinger and his ilk, there were only 606 bank robberies in the U.S. Last year the FBI reported a record number of 1,250, and the pace is even faster in 1963.

One reason for the outbreak is the proliferation of branch banks, many of them lightly guarded, in U.S. suburbs. It is, therefore, almost inevitable that the highest number of bank holdups...

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