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Bank Robbery Isn't Nearly As Lucrative As It's Portrayed In The Movies

By / 06.15.12

Six years ago now, Steven Leavitt famously broke down the economics of selling crack and found that it pays less than minimum wage. So, there goes the romance in selling drugs, right? At least there’s some romance inherent in bank robbery, right? Those dudes make bank, right?

Actually, a bunch of buzzkills in the United Kingdom broke out the costs and found that what the average bank robber makes is, well, crap.

First of all, one third of robberies fail entirely (i.e. you get caught and go to jail, or the bank doesn’t give you any money). Secondly…

The basic problem is the average haul from a bank job: for the three-year period, it was only £20,330.50 (~$31,613). And it gets worse, as the average robbery involved 1.6 thieves. So the authors conclude, “The return on an average bank robbery is, frankly, rubbish. It is not unimaginable wealth. It is a very modest £12,706.60 per person per raid.”

So, in other words, to make what the average American pulls down working a day job, about $46,000, you have to commit at least three bank robberies a year, and that’s if you’re lucky: in the US, the average haul is $4000 or so. In short, crime really doesn’t pay.

Watching Point Break and The Town will never be the same, you guys.

(Point Break screengrab via)


TAGSCrimeeconomicsfailurePOINT BREAKthe town

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