Women Are Leaning In to Bank Robbery, Doing It For Themselves

An undated photo of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow. Photo via AP
An undated photo of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow. Photo via AP

True social equality is hard to measure and progress for women can be achingly slow, especially economically. But finally, we’ve done it. We’re here. As of 2016, women are making gains in one crucial sector: bank robbery.


A beautiful story from the Orlando Sentinel reports that bank robberies by women are up 25 percent over the last year, from 6 percent to 7.5 percent of all money-grabbers. That’s still a minority, sure, but the experts cited by the Sentinel say it’s all due to new innovations in the field of money-grabbing:

Experts say more women are targeting banks because the nature of crime has changed. Bank robberies were once meticulous operations, carried out by a team of masked gunmen and a getaway driver. Now it’s not as dangerous — robbers can get a payday without taking hostages or using violence.

“You don’t have to brandish a gun — you don’t have to even have a gun,” said Darrell Steffensmeier, liberal arts research professor of sociology and criminology at Penn State University. “You can just pass them the note. That’s huge.”

And also:

The tactic of committing a robbery with a handwritten note makes the crime more suitable for women.

“I think [the trend] will continue increasing...because of the nonviolent nature of the note-passing robbery,” Erickson said, and over time, a woman’s role has evolved from working as an accomplice or sidekick to “running the show.”

Let’s take a moment here to acknowledge that this is sexist—women are robbing banks because it’s not that hard anymore!—and also nonsense. “Note jobs” have been a tactic in bank robbery for a very long time, and stories about how ladies are robbing banks now pop up reliably about every two or three years. (The best one, if we’re using “best” very loosely, is probably this 2011 CNBC listicle, which is illustrated with an image of a woman robbing a bank by crouching with a gun in sexy heels and an extremely tight, movement-restricting dress, as you do.)

In any case, if you’re considering a career change and need tips on how to rob a bank, there are plenty of how-tos out there. And even though this trend is more or less fake, we’ll take our success stories where we can find them. You know what to do, ladies: let’s take a victory lap and celebrate by robbing a bank.

Anna Merlan was a Senior Reporter at G/O Media until September 2019. She's the author of Republic of Lies: American Conspiracy Theorists and Their Surprising Rise to Power.


JujyMonkey: unstable genius

I wonder if they only get 77% of the take that male bank robbers get.