Thursday, August 30, 2007

James Bond Fails to Halt Rogers Park Bank Robbery

Yes, yes, you've heard about it by now. There was an attempted robbery at The First Commercial Bank at 6945 N. Clark Street in Chicago's Rogers Park this morning. There was no money taken and, thank God, nobody injured.

Because nobody was hurt, we have the luxury of being able to laugh at the situation. It was sooooo Rogers Park. High drama. Botched attempt. Incomplete effort. And that was just the robber.

The funny bits are almost too numerous to list here, but let's give it a shot:
  1. The first call to the police came at 9:42 a.m. this morning. By 10:00 a.m., aerial video showed a small army of police vehicles, cops everywhere, "locking down" the neighborhood. Yet, even with this magnificent show of manpower and vehicular testosterone, the perp got away. On foot. With witnesses watching him run "north on Clark Street."

  2. Joe Moore, the 49th Ward Alderman and world renowned crime fighter, champion of water fowl and nemesis of purse snatchers everywhere, was not able to burst through the walls of the bank and nab the perp.

  3. There is currently a weird debate locally over the word "hostage" and "kidnap." Seems some people insist that the people held against their will at the bank were not actually hostages, some say. Huh? If they were not held against their will, the only assumption would then be that they stayed willingly. Why the hell would they have stayed willingly?

  4. All major news reports refer to those in the bank as "hostages." But it seems that the perpetrator might have left the building just minutes after his botched attempt. Which begs the question: Were the "hostages" asleep? Was the perp a master hypnotist? "You are growing sleepy, sleeeeeeepy. When you awake, I will be gone, but you will think I am still here and have a gun pointed at your head. You will believe that you are hostages."

  5. The Chicago Tribune reports that a security guard at the bank, named James Bond (really), said that the armed perp was let in through a back door by a visiting bank auditor. Bond is quoted as saying, "When a guy walks in with a gun, he means business," Bond. There you have it, from James Bond's own mouth.

  6. Bond, James Bond also said, according to the Tribune, that bank employees were frightened and ran around hiding. Bond told the Tribune that he tried to help them get to exits. "I told them move, move, move," he said. Hmmm. Any bank employee who has ever worked for a real bank, not some rinky dink Monopoly board game bank, has gone through robbery training. Robbery training does not include running around and hiding. According to the Tribune, Bond said the robber ran away during while the employees were running around looking for hiding places. In other words, the gunman was gone hours before the coast was declared to be clear. (Also see: Robbery Training procedures)

  7. At 5:05 p.m. this afternoon, well after the attempted robbery had ended, about a dozen television news vans were still working the intersection of Clark and Morse, milking this overblown story for all it's worth - and more. There have been far more spectacular robberies, banks and otherwise, and certainly more violent crimes. The response from the local media seems to be, uhm, waaaaay out of proportion.
The bad guy is still at large. Joe Moore is still at large. James Bond did not save the day. Drug pushers are still pushing drugs at Morse and Glenwood, Jarvis and Greenview, and dozens of other places tonight in Rogers Park. People are shooting up as you read this. Purses are being snatched, children abused, wives beaten. But so many of us are glued to our televisions hoping to get the latest, oh so unimportant information about some idiot who was (a) stupid enough to attempt a bank robbery, (b) too inept to carry out the bank robbery, and (c) probably nowhere near Rogers Park any longer. What's your neighbor doing right now? How many sex offenders and child rapists live on your block?

Rogers Park is already known internationally as the home of Goose Saviour Joe Moore, as the Fifth Bloggiest Neighborhood in the U.S., and (just in case you missed that issue of the Sun-Times) we're also the "Venice Beach of Chicago." We can add another badge of honor to the list: We are the site of one of the most inept bank robbery attempts in recent memory. We're also the site of one of the most inept attempts by police to catch a bank robber in recent memory.

By the way, crime is down in Rogers Park. Purse snatching, anyway.