Friday, January 20, 2012

What would you do if you knew you wouldn’t get caught?

A few days ago, I was watching the news and heard a story about a North Carolina man in his late fifties that robbed a bank. He woke up, got dressed, called a taxi, then walked into a random bank and handed the teller a note demanding the staggering amount of $1.

Why would a 59 year old man bother to rob a bank and for such a ridiculous amount of money?


James Richard Verone - Bank robber
James Richard Verone was in financial ruin. He had worked his whole life and then, like so many Americans, found himself jobless. Desperate for work but unable to find anything substantial, he was forced to take a job as a convenience store clerk. Soon the heavy lifting and daily routine proved too much for his deteriorating body to handle and he reluctantly had to quit. He lived off of his savings for a while, but with no other source of income coming in, quickly exhausted his funds. That is about the time he noticed a protrusion in his chest.

He tried to apply for state aid, but was only approved for food stamps. Refusing to be a burden on his siblings and not wanting to accept money from a charity, he came up with another option: rob a bank.

His intention wasn’t to hurt anyone. In fact, after the teller gave him the dollar, Verone said told her he would "... sit over here and wait for police.” He was hoping to get arrested which would provide him with food, a place to stay and, the most important thing, free health care.

Because the amount he stole was only $1, Verone avoided a long prison sentence. Instead he would most likely be incarcerated for 5 years. He would receive treatment for whatever ailments he suffered from and be released in decent health just in time to start receiving his social security.

Of course, the story shows the flaws in our healthcare system and is somewhat sad, but I couldn’t help admiring the man for coming up with such a creative solution to his dilemma. My first thought, ok, maybe not my first thought, but one of my thoughts was how would I have done it differently? I came up with the conclusion that I would have asked for a LOT more than $1.

I understand his logic, but here is mine: If you aren’t afraid of getting caught, why not ask for an insane amount of money? I would have the bank give me as much as I could carry, backing up my own semi-truck if necessary. What do you have to lose? If you get caught, you get sent to jail where you receive free health care, a warm bed and 3 square meals, although Verone chose to only eat 2 because eating dinner would mean he would briefly be put in general population.

On the other hand, if you got away with it, you have all this money to get your health back on track, move wherever you want and never have to worry about money problems ever again.

This got me thinking about what else I would do if I knew I wouldn’t get caught. I knew for certain that I would never murder anyone or pay someone to do so. Although I don’t think I would have a problem hiring someone to beat the ever loving shit out of the child molesters and rapists of the world. I may also consider hiring a Dexter or some type of similar vigilante to hunt down serial killers.  

However, none of those would be my first choice. No, top on my list, hands down, would be to rob a bank for the reasons previously listed. A bank insures your account for up to $100,000, so most citizens would get their money back. Anyone that had more than $100,000 should be smart enough to know they had to divide their fortune among banks.

Claude Monet's Water Lillies
My second crime of choice would be to steal some fabulous art out of a museum. Not because I would want all of this incredible art hanging around my house, but because of the undisputable coolness of the crime. Think the Thomas Crown Affair: the intricate planning, the execution, the brilliance it would take to pull it off. I would steal it, hang it on my wall, drink a glass of Cabernet while I admired it, and then find a way to return it without anyone figuring out how I did it. Now if it was someone’s personal art collection, I probably wouldn’t return it. I would send it to a hospital to inspire children or some physically or mentally ill patients to paint, relax and maybe discover a secret talent.

Next, I would steal from those that steal from others. I would be like a modern day female Robin Hood (luckily, Robin is androgynous enough that I wouldn’t have to change the name). I would steal the funds from people like Bernie Madeoff* and then give it to the poor and struggling middle class and in a fun way too. I would give a waitress a $1M tip or a volunteer charity worker a house or a kick-ass car.  I wouldn’t take credit for the gifts, just be close enough by to see their expression when they received the stuff. I would also give some to charities, but in a smarter way. The more results they produced, the more money they would receive to do more research.

The other things I would do are relatively mild and would be just for the hell of it. I would steal a crazy expensive car like a Lotus, Ferrari or the Bat Mobile just because - although I probably wouldn’t get very far because I can’t drive a stick. I would also break into people’s houses and rearrange their furniture…just to screw with them.

I mean, seriously, WTH?

What would you do if you knew you couldn’t get caught? 

*(OK and on a personal note, whom invests with a guy whose last name is Madeoff?)


  1. "I would also break into people’s houses and rearrange their furniture." If you ever decide to do this, call me, I would love to do this too!! Hilarious!!

    1. Consider it don, Angela. They'll call us the Feng Shui CAT burglars...only we wouldn't take anything... except maybe a cookie or 2 if they had them;)

    2. Yes...cookies.

      (I wonder why my pic didn't show up in the first one...weird.)

    3. So $1 for 3 hots, a cot, and nightly anal plundering. He should have worked the glory holes instead.

  2. Ha! He has a cellmate that is in there for something minor like embezzling...not murder or anything like that. He is staying out of general population, so his butt should be okay. They say they normally leave the old ones alone and go for the pretty young ones. i think if he continues to make the face he is in the picture, they'll leave him alone because they will thing he is NUTS (no pun intended).

  3. Haha I was thinking this myself. If I ever become homeless and have nothing to lose, I would totally pull off this same move. Hell, like you said, having free health care, food, and even computer access would be far better than living in the subway. It's less dangerous to be in jail than to be a hobo according to all the stories on the internet of homeless people getting the shit kicked out of them for no reason. I applaud this guy for playing the system.

    P.S. I would love to become a vigilante, but I would want to have some control over my sentencing like this guy did.

  4. I'd rob a bank or an armored car if I couldn't get caught and hey his plan worked well for him, I guess.

  5. I don't think you can improve on this guy's plan. However, if I knew that I wouldn't get caught, I'd do something really cartoony like paint a fake tunnel next to a real tunnel.

  6. Addman- OMG I love that idea! It is very Roadrunner meets Coyote- esque!It would also be great to paint a store front on the side of a building and watch as people try to walk in and run into the wall.

  7. I would secretly move in to Gwen Stefani's house and do her laundry for her when she is gone. LMAO :)

    1. You are so not right. Do her laundry? I would have thought you would get naked and roll around in her bed. LMAO

    2. Apparently he didn't anticipate a lot of back rubs from a guy named Bubba. I suppose a dollar is a bargain if your into that.

    3. Haha, very true:) He said that he eats breakfast and lunch, but skips dinner so that he doesn't have to mingle with the general population. If it were me, I'd still be scared. Just because you don't mingle doesn't mean Bubba won't come a callin'.