Have you watched at least one movie about a bank robbery? If no, just google it and you’ll find a wide variety of them from old to new, from simple to elaborate, from a bit boring to the most shocking ones that a human mind could ever create. And while you’re enjoying the scenarios written for a movie, someone else is probably preparing a scenario to bring it to life, yes, yes, to real life, in other words, to try a shorter and, let’s say, a bit old-fashioned way to make money in this tech-rich world.

Banks are supposed to be the safest place to keep your money, but actually, the experience shows they’re not, particularly in specific countries where we witness bank robberies more often. Recent years have seen substantial and sustained increases in the number of armed robberies. It’s a serious crime which is about far more than stealing money. Nowadays world has become a scary place with more than 5000 armed bank robberies per year only in the USA. This means criminals use weapons, and they don’t only threaten but also kill. During the high season banks are full of people, and security personnel simply cannot monitor all locations. They are not capable of stopping or handling the cases. The priority of human operators watching cameras is mostly concentrated in the main cash handling areas or deposit boxes. These areas are equipped with cameras, and what about the rest of the areas or what happens when guards are sleepy or busy.

So these are the risks which aren’t often taken into consideration by the bank managers and surely serve as favorable target points for bank robbers.

And before moving to the answer to these questions and possible solutions to decreasing the number of such crimes which unfortunately often cause human losses, we suggest you read about some of the biggest bank robberies in history.


The Central Bank of Iraq, March 2003/over 1bn stolen

When we think of a bank robbery, the first thing that comes to mind is a person with a gun and likely with a mask threatening to kill customers and bank personnel if he doesn’t get money. The standard scenario which we can remember mostly from movies, but history shows that a robbery can be organized in a simple way without putting any effort. Well, it’s even easier, when you’re the head of the state.

Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, just one day before the Iraq War began in 2003 anticipating the US bombing, sent three large trucks to the Central Bank in Baghdad. No weapon, just a handwritten note passed to the bank’s governor, telling that the extraordinary actions are necessary to keep money safe and away from foreign hands. Guess who was the person that handed the note? It was Qusay Hussein, dictator’s son and the head of Iraqi security forces. Different sources report of approximate numbers, but overall nearly 1 bln was stolen.


Dar Es Salaam bank of Baghdad’s Karrada district, July 2007/ over $300 mln stolen

A usual July morning, but not as usual as it could seem for Baghdad’s Dar Es Salaam bank personnel. To their surprise, they found the bank’s coffers empty, and the main organizers of this ideal theft were the bank guards. Not much information is available about this case, sources report that the government suspected the robbers of having connections with local police that allowed them to freely pass through many checkpoints across the city.


The Knightsbridge Security Deposit robbery in Cheval Place, England July 1987/over $97 mln stolen

The crime was organized by Valerio Viccei, who was already wanted for more than 50 armed robberies in Italy. Two men walked into a bank and requested to rent a safe deposit box. When they were shown to the vault, they pulled out the guns and threatened the bank manager and security guards. And after they put a “closed” sign on a bank door, they let some of their assistants in and broke into as many safe deposit boxes as possible. Such a brilliant plan and escape but not a happy ending. After some time Viccei returned to England to ship his car to Latin America where he was caught. He was sentenced to 22 years of imprisonment and shot to death after a gunfight with the police on the day of his release.


These are just some of the historical bank robberies which truly shock not only by the sum stolen but the simplicity of the scenario. The Banco Central burglary at Fortaleza, Brazil, The United California bank robbery, US are also historically known bank crimes. As you see, even if bank robberies are considered old-fashioned, there are people who always keep them on-trend and that’s why methods for struggling against these crimes should also be on-trend. And what we offer is an ideal combination of human and artificial intelligence powerful potentials.

Scylla is a modern AI-based protective intelligence suite that enhances operational activities of law enforcement in the following 3 main areas: PTD-preventive threat detection, VIT-vehicle identification and tracking, SSIS-smart suspect identification system.

To know more how exactly our system works in different areas, how it uses artificial intelligence to analyze data coming from stationary and portable cameras and how we help prevent crimes like mass shootings, terror attacks, also armed bank robberies, you can visit our website.