November 26, 2022
The Boston Globe recently published an article featuring Jay Zagorsky, Clinical Associate Professor, discussing Massachusetts as a haven for elaborate bank robberies.
Massachusetts has a storied history of ambitious and meticulously crafted bank heists, which stand in stark contrast to the November 17 robbery of the Rockland Trust bank on Martha’s Vineyard. Wearing outlandish Halloween masks, the perpetrators entered the bank early on a weekday morning, detaining employees using duct tape and plastic ties and fleeing in a bank employee’s vehicle. The crime is a reminder that Massachusetts was site of some of the most notorious bank robberies in U.S. history, including those committed by infamous figures like Whitney Bulger or the famed Brink’s robbers in 1950.
Analysts categorized the crime as amateurish, noting that the thieves robbed the bank on a sparsely populated island with few escape routes. Traditionally, Zagorsky says, the best times to rob a bank are Mondays and Fridays, or toward the end of the month when banks are likely to have the most cash on hand. The Vineyard thieves chose a Thursday morning, well into the island’s offseason where the local population and the amount of cash-on-hand had dwindled. He states, “Why not do it Labor Day weekend? It’s the last hurrah for the island, a lot of businesses are bringing in a fair amount of money, I shake my head a little bit.”