Diabolical Criminal Robs Banks With Nuclear Weapon Threats

Like a James Bond villain with scaled-down ambitions, someone in the Washington, D.C., area has managed to pull off a string of bank robberies by threatening to go nuclear.

According to police in Prince George’s County, MD, the man is believed to have robbed four banks in just the last couple of months. Each time, he is said to have handed a note to the bank teller demanding money or he would detonate a nuclear weapon.

Amazingly, in spite of never showing any visual evidence of said device, the tellers would hand over the cash when they should have been laughing in his face.

These bank employees need to brush up on their Cold War lessons. Or at least watch Dr. Strangelove:

Police: Suspect used nuclear threat to rob Pr. George’s banks [Washington Post]

Thanks to Anti for the tip!


Edit Your Comment

  1. smartmuffin says:

    A threat is a threat, you know? Even if it’s ridiculous. I assume if someone just said “I have a gun” you wouldn’t expect the cashier to go, “I don’t believe you, let’s see you fire it!” would you?

    And it’s not like you can have a test detonation or anything!

    • AcctbyDay says:

      I have been robbed working in customer service. The man said “I have a gun”, I didn’t feel it was necessary to have a bullet wound in order to defend the fact that I emptied my till to him. They tell you if they want the money, they can have it. No fight needed.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Echoing AccbyDay’s comment. Bank tellers aren’t supposed to question a bank robber in any way. They are supposed to do what he says, and IF they feel comfortable and safe doing so, put in an ink pack into the bag of money they give them.

      They aren’t there to be heroes, and one bad question to a robber might get you shot.

  2. MutantMonkey says:

    I think I would have to call BS on that one.

  3. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    I love movies, and have seen a great number of them (including classics)…but have yet to watch Dr Strangelove. Is it on Netflix streaming, or was it taken away with Starz?

  4. Power Imbalance says:

    A nuke is worth far more than what any bank has in the drawer…

  5. Cat says:

    I think any criminal smart or determined enough to possess a thermonuclear device would use it to do something that would net him more than a few thousand dollars by robbing banks.

    I’m thinking maybe they’d be asking for one Mill… er, one BILLION DOLLARS.

  6. FacebookAppMaker says:

    As someone who has been a victim of a workplace robbery, you have to understand something: The tellers are trained to hand over money upon any request that comes with a threat. If someone said “Give me money or I’ll mutilate everyone in the bank”, they will hand over money, even if the threat isn’t credible.

    They do this primarily because it’s almost always impossible to tell if a threat is credible or not. If the guy doesn’t have a gun now, he may come with a gun later. So, to protect their customers, and of course themselves, they hand over the cash, no questions ask. The cash is insured anyways, so it’s not like they are losing money.

    However, I do agree they should have laughed at this guy, as I doubt this poor gentleman had nuclear weapons at his disposal,

    • colpuck says:

      This is the credited response. At the bank I worked at we told tellers to hand over the cash upon presentation of a demand for money.

      The safety of those in the branch is more important than any nominal amount that could be acquired by bank robbery.

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        Shouldn’t there be at least a threat of some harm? Otherwise, is it really a robbery?

        If I hand a teller a note saying only “Put your till money in a bag and hand to me, please” how could a lawyer actually prove A) intent to steal, B) intent to harm? I mean, I SAID please!

        • FacebookAppMaker says:

          No. I’m not sure about banks, but the way I was trained is that there has to be a threat, either to customers or staff, and that it doesn’t have to be spoken, but implied. But providing that note, the teller can REASONABLY assume that as a threat.

          If 5 huge gangster-looking kids came up to you on the street and said “GIVE ME ALL YOUR MONEY…. PLEASE”, you wouldn’t tell your friends that you contributed to charity that day. You would tell them you were robbed.

        • RecordStoreToughGuy_RidesTheWarpOfSpaceIntoTheWombOfNight says:


          Would you please give me some money? If not, that’s cool.


        • colpuck says:

          Intent to steal. If the person is acquiring funds that are not theirs then there is theft. Passing of the note means the robber is going to jail, for what and for how long is determined by the contents of the note and any weapon brandished.

          It really is personal safety first. There are clients and staff in the branch and their safety is worth so much more than the funds in the till.

    • AcctbyDay says:

      The cash is insured from loss due to bank failure, not due to robbery.

      • Dr. Ned - This underwear is Sofa King Comfortable! says:

        The majority of banks are covered by a Banker’s Blanket Bond, which does insure against robberies, as well as disaster type occurrences.

  7. Snowblind says:

    “Because he’s holding a thermal detonator!” – C3PO

  8. jayphat says:


  9. Admiral_John says:

    “Amazingly, in spite of never showing any visual evidence of said device, the tellers would hand over the cash when they should have been laughing in his face.”

    And that goes against the policy of every job I’ve had that involved handling money and the potential of being robbed. If a robber comes into your place of business and demands money, you give it to him, get a good description and call the police.

  10. bdcw says:

    Shouldn’t you be showing a picture of Doctor Evil?

  11. DrLumen says:

    “Please put $50000 into this bag and apt natural. I have a gub pointed at you.”

  12. KidRey says:

    An actual spoken threat of thermal nuclear mass destruction? Hell, we go to war for less’n that… Get Bauer on the line NOW..

  13. InsertPithyNicknameHere says:

    Having worked as a bank teller, the second thing we learned was that any threat was to be treated as creditable, and the bank was insured against loss of money from theft. So, there is absolutely no return on *not* handing it over.

    The first thing we learned was about when to pull the alarm, which was aptly demonstrated by a suggested viewing of Dog Day Afternoon.

  14. axolotl says:

    Should have demanded their precious bodily fluids.

  15. Press1forDialTone says:

    If the banks are stupid enough not to have thought of this
    scenario they all deserve to get wiped out by robbery.

  16. purecajn says:

    Chances are that the tellers were just following protacall and would have lost their job if not being compliant

  17. darthwaveous says:

    You can’t blame the teller for just following SOP for a robbery and do whatever the bank’s normal procedure is. While he might be unlikely to have a nuke he might still have a Desert Eagle under his coat.

    “Mein F√ºhrer! I can walk!” – One of the funniest lines ever in a movie