Study: Robbery Earnings Make the Crime Just Not Worth It

A study out of England has dispelled the myth that you can get rich off of robbing banks. As a matter of fact, you would probably be better off getting a job at McDonald’s, according to the research found in the statistics journal Significance.

As reported in the LA Times, researchers found that earnings from bank robberies simply don’t stack up lie many people would think, and likely how the would-be robbers envision it beforehand.

They say the average U.S. bank robbery nets around $4,330, hardly enough to get by for 3 months and certainly not enough to retire off of. This could be part of the reason bank robbers often don’t get caught until they hit several banks, trying to increase their earnings to make the risk worthwhile.

The report says at this rate, one “bank robbery ‘will give him a modest lifestyle for no more than 6 months.’ If he robs two, he will still have only a modest lifestyle. Four robberies, and the odds are excellent that he will land in jail.”

While using a firearm in the commission of such a robbery might increase the earnings, it also increases the risks. Penalties are far more severe for an armed robbery than they are for an unarmed robbery.

The study goes on to question the intelligence of expensive anti-robbery measures. In the U.K. some banks have metal screens that can be activated in the event of a robbery, placing a barrier between the banker and the robber. The study suggests that the cost of these measures simply aren’t justified by the loss of a successful robbery. “Given the low take from the robberies and the high cost of the devices, such countermeasures are not economically reasonable.”

The low profit margin of a robbery could be why robberies are on the decline both in the United States and across the pond. Though potential robbers aren’t likely to know the statistics behind their crime, the study does suggest that “successful criminals study econometrics.”

Most robberies take place without complex math going on beforehand. The alleged robber knows that if they are successful, they will have more money after the robbery than they did before. Risks aside, that makes the crime worth it.

But, once you are caught on a robbery, the thought process can be quite different. Unless you made off with millions, you likely regret ever even considering such a crime.

If you are charged with robbery or even burglary, we may be able to help. Contact our offices today to discuss your case and what can be done to minimize its effects on your life.

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