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View Full Version : How can someone sneak into a bank without being noticed?



Another User
04-04-2016, 05:40 PM
OK so I'm stuck in a plot-critical scene. Long story short: I have a cop with an unconventional and overzealous attitude. He is summoned to a bank robbery. There are three robbers in the bank, one holding a hostage at the police's gunpoint and demanding a patrol car, and the others keeping people inside the bank. The police team currently can't do anything because they want to keep the hostages alive, and if the robber with the hostage is angered the rest can fire and kill everyone. My cop character wants to sneak into the bank without being noticed then shoot all the robbers down.

So the question is: how can my cop sneak into the bank without being noticed? I think of a back door but maybe a bank isn't that easy to sneak into. Is there any way that someone can enter a bank other than using the main entrance?

And if a bank is too secured to be sneaked into, can you suggest any places other than a bank? Somewhere that can be a target for a robbery, but has weaker security system than a bank?

Don't know if it will help my story is set between the late 1970s - early 1980s.

mirandashell
04-04-2016, 05:42 PM
I was going to suggest getting a key card from a member of staff and going in through the staff entrance but they may not have existed that early.

Law-Lawson
04-04-2016, 06:01 PM
How about someone inside manages to sneak out and leave the door propped open, or open a window to let him in. Someone upstairs opens an office window and the cop can slip in on a ladder-

Either all the alarms are already blaring or they've all been deactivated to facilitate the break-in. So no-one is going to notice a door or window opening.

Bing Z
04-04-2016, 07:02 PM
OK so I'm stuck in a plot-critical scene. Long story short: I have a cop with an unconventional and overzealous attitude. He is summoned to a bank robbery. There are three robbers in the bank, one holding a hostage at the police's gunpoint and demanding a patrol car, and the others keeping people inside the bank. The police team currently can't do anything because they want to keep the hostages alive, and if the robber with the hostage is angered the rest can fire and kill everyone. My cop character wants to sneak into the bank without being noticed then shoot all the robbers down. This sounds plausible only in a Hollywood movie. With more than one hostage-taking robber, tragedy is almost a certainty.


So the question is: how can my cop sneak into the bank without being noticed? I think of a back door but maybe a bank isn't that easy to sneak into. Is there any way that someone can enter a bank other than using the main entrance?Invisibility cloak? He is Kitty Pryde's twin brother? He finds out another gang of robbers have dug a tunnel into the safe deposit box vault (a la Hatton Garden heist) and he uses that tunnel to get inside? It just happens he is already inside the bank, taking a leak in the restroom or having sex with the branch manager in a storeroom, when the robbery occurs?


And if a bank is too secured to be sneaked into, can you suggest any places other than a bank? Somewhere that can be a target for a robbery, but has weaker security system than a bank?

Don't know if it will help my story is set between the late 1970s - early 1980s.Convenient store/gas station (most robbed retail establishments)? Wealthy home?

Myrealana
04-04-2016, 07:15 PM
I could buy a way in through the roof. The security measures would have been pretty straight-forward in that time frame. Presumably, the robbers would have disabled any kind of alarms, or they're already tripped and screaming loud enough to cover the character's movements, so that would play to his advantage. If the cops have cut power to the bank in order to sweat the robbers out or something, that could also help him.

It also might depend if you're talking small town or city location. A small town bank might be overdue for upgrades.

As for successfully ending the hostage crisis after his arrival, I'm less certain I would buy into that. It sounds awfully "Last Action Hero" to me.

T Robinson
04-04-2016, 09:16 PM
If he is a policeman, he will be terminated/fired immediately afterward, no matter how it turns out, even back then, just so you know. Your scenario will not happen unless the policeman is insane or "totally emotionally overwhelmed" and does not care what happens afterward..

#1, if it is a hostage situation, all entrances will be watched by someone.
#2, it is really a reckless thing to do, which is why no department would keep him after that stunt.
#3, if you want it realistic, please rethink your scenario.

King Neptune
04-04-2016, 11:40 PM
What construction and size is the building. If it is in a two story building and the bank has office space on the second floor, then he gets in through there. Even sneakier would be having a full basement under a one story masonry building with an exterior basement entry.

James D. Macdonald
04-05-2016, 03:09 AM
It's your book; you can put a screen door on that bank anywhere you want.

Three-bad-guy barricaded hostage scenario? All the cops will stay in place until the hostage negotiation team/SWAT team arrives. I don't care how gung-ho this guy is.

Rethink the entire scenario? One bad guy, and the cop is in civilian clothes and is the one who is in jeopardy?

If your cop sneaks inside and fires his weapon, the only sure outcome is the bad guys kill everyone.

Dmbeucler
04-05-2016, 04:02 AM
Warning, this is a McGuffin from a Leverage episode (Season 1 The Bank shot job, awesome show btw). Older banks used to get ledgers dropped off with the cash so they used to have large deposit chute to accommodate that. How big is your guy and does he have a screwdriver?

rfitzwilly63
04-05-2016, 04:15 AM
Ventilation system on the roof. Sewer system underneath somewhere. Drive thru window with tools and a diversion. As a pizza deliver guy. As the hostage negotiator, trade me for a few hostages. Shut down elevator shaft in a large city building. Posing as one of the bandits if he can get there early and take one down, trade clothes. I think you explore the scenario even though it seems unlikely. Sometimes you accidentally stumble upon good plot twists by just letting your characters figure it out while your fingers stumble over the keys.

jclarkdawe
04-05-2016, 04:57 AM
So this is a WALKER, TEXAS RANGER type situation where the cop's actions aren't going to be believable and the crooks are incredibly dumb.

In your time period, jewelry stores were a lot less secure than banks. That's why people started hitting them.

Here's some reality that most people weren't aware of at the time. Bankers are cheap. Security systems are expensive. Fakes abounded. Cameras that weren't cameras, alarms switches that weren't hooked up to anything, so on and so forth. This has to be set up right, but you can disable the alarm systems very easily by blaming it on a cheap banker.

I think that was back when dye packs started to be used. Dye packs are actually the big reason for the drop in bank robberies.

Anyway, once you get the alarm system out of the way, you've got windows in the offices, at least two doors. Use one of those old stone/brick buildings and you've got all sorts of possibilities.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

WeaselFire
04-05-2016, 05:18 PM
Banks are not secure. Vaults are secure. Fire exits, utility shafts, widows that open and secondary customer doors are common. Heck, my bank has a front and back door. A different branch is accessible through a lobby shared with a lawyer's office, the regular front door and an elevator from the real estate and investment offices upstairs.

When your cop is done sneaking into the bank and single-handedly taking out the bad guys, he's also out of a job and likely being prosecuted as well as involved in a civil suit. He broke the standard operating procedures of every law enforcement agency I know of. I wasn't thinking Walker, Texas Ranger, but did envision a movie with Bruce Willis or Sylvester Stallone in the works...

Jeff

mirandashell
04-05-2016, 05:25 PM
There's also that one where Bruce Willis walked into a hostage situation in a bank pretending to be the negotiator and shot the bad guys with the gun strapped to his back.

If you can get away with it in a movie, don't see why you can't do it in a novel.

bettybadA
04-10-2016, 06:34 AM
Cleaning crew. No bank cleans their own space. They hire out. Big large van pulls up with large wheeled cart full of floor rugs, underneath is your guy sneaking in.... He gets pushed around a corner where no one sees and there you go.