How would you rob a bank? I know how I'd do it: I'd get a job at one, straight out of school, and work there for years, gaining the absolute trust of my colleagues. Then, one day, on an evening shift, I'd be captured on CCTV looking absolutely terrified as a gang of armed men rush the place and make off with millions of pounds. Traumatised, I'd resign and relocate to somewhere in South America, ready for those armed men – WHO I KNEW ALL ALONG! – to transfer me my share of the proceeds.
So, that's what I'd do. But I wanted to know what others would do. So ahead of our eight-part TV series How to Rob a Bank, which tells the first-person stories of everyday Americans who wound up becoming bank robbers (on VICE on TV on Thursdays at 10PM in the UK; catch up on Now TV), I hit the streets to ask ordinary Londoners how they would rob a bank. If they absolutely had to, that is.
LUCY, 22, WORKS AT A RECORDING STUDIO, AND JULIET, 22, WAITRESS
Lucy: If I had to? I would get, like— you know Slowthai? He had that Boris mask. I would get one of them and wear it. That would be pretty terrifying. You have to scare them, right? But it would be a bit too traumatising for everyone if I used a gun. And where would I get a gun from anyway? Would you be supplying everything I'd need or would I have to find it all myself? I'd just go in dressed as Boris Johnson and demand the money. Once I'd gotten out of there I'd put the cash under my mattress, or just leave it in my house where nobody would suspect a thing. Over time I would slowly spend it – not splash loads of cash all the time though. Or, I guess I could, but around people who are really close to me. I'd live an undercover life; my family would think I was a broke intern, but all the people I’m friends with would be like, 'Wow, she flashes the cash.'
Juliet: Would I have to physically rob the bank? Because I would rather hack into the banking system. I'd befriend a load of hackers, spend however long it takes learning from them how to do it. We could all do it together then. I’d send the money to Switzerland – that's where people send dodgy money, right? No, I don't know; I’d spread it around.
GREG, 29, MUSICIAN
JULIAN, DIDN'T GIVE AGE OR PROFESSION
Julian: It's a funny question. Who are you working for? Okay. I don’t know— like, urm, it’s really funny, because it’s the kind of question that everyone has thought about, because when we're short for money and are broke we think about what we can do, and at some point everyone says, "Fucking hell, I would love to rob a bank. Are we gonna rob a bank?" I’m not a gangster, but I have thought about that already. I don’t know – I'd probably use technology. I think I would hack them basically. I think that would be the best way to go. A hacker is the guy who… [phone rings] Yo. Yes, I’m here.
GUINNESS ('LIKE THE DRINK'), 34, RECEPTIONIST
Guinness: I'd go through the wall next door at night. I'd put the money in a backpack and get it back through the wall. I think I’d get away with it. There's a place near where I work, Lloyds Bank, and next door is an office. I always pass by and think, 'How easy would it be…' Well, it wouldn’t be easy, but… if I had to think about how to rob the bank I would hide in the next door offices and make a hole, and I would break [into] the bank. Using my backpack, I’d take the money. Do you think there's money in the bank, or is it just digital numbers? I wouldn’t become a multi-millionaire, but I’d have more money than I have at the moment.
Anon: I’d hack. I’d have to get good at hacking. But what would I do with the money? That’s an important point. I’d have to turn it into Bitcoin and not spend it quickly. I don’t think I’d get away with it, to be honest.
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