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Sunday, May 1, 2011

Presidents and Robbers

Our chapter on the presidency discusses the unique role of the chief executive. One oddity is that a fair number of robbers like to wear presidential masks.

  • "The M&T Bank branch located at 8200 Harford Road was robbed this morning by a man wearing a Richard Nixon mask, according to Baltimore County police." -- The Parkville-Overlea [MD] Patch, April 27, 2001
  • "Two men were said to be wearing George Bush Halloween masks when they robbed a bank at gunpoint in north Colorado Springs on Wednesday morning, authorities said." -- Colorado Springs Gazette, April 20, 2011
  • "Authorities are searching for a gunman who stormed into an El Pollo Loco restaurant in Duarte, tied up the employees and stole a large amount of money from the safe ... According to the store's manager, the suspect was wearing a President Obama Halloween mask." -- KTLA, Los Angeles, October 28, 2010
  • "Police have arrested a man in connection with a robbery at the Sheetz convenience store on Somerset Center Drive early Wednesday morning, according to a release. Mitchell Davis Walters, 29, was wearing a President Obama mask during the robbery." -- WGHB, Greensboro, NC, October 6, 2010
  • "Detectives are looking for a man who wore a Richard Nixon mask while robbing a Lexington restaurant Sunday. Sherelle Roberts, spokeswoman for the Lexington police department, said police suspect the crook is the same man wanted in eight restaurant robberies over the past five years." -- Lexington [KY] Herald-Leader, September 16, 2010.
  • "Police said at 4:37 p.m. Thursday at the Wendy's at 11450 Shawnee Mission Parkway, two men used semi-automatic handguns to rob the restaurant. The two men left with an undetermined amount of money in a red Dodge Charger..both were described as wearing masks by witnesses, police said, with at least one of the masks being a Ronald Reagan mask." -- KCTV, Kansas City, January 29, 2010.
  • "The FBI says it's looking for a man who robbed a pair of Los Angeles banks wearing a rubber mask of former President Richard Nixon. An FBI spokeswoman says the suspect is behind Wednesday's armed robbery of a Santa Barbara Bank & Trust and the Nov. 25 robbery of a U.S. Bank branch." -- Associated Press, December 5, 2009

One inspiration for the robbers may be the 1991 movie Point Break. From the Internet Movie Database:
In the coastal town of Los Angeles, a gang of bank robbers call themselves the ex-presidents. commit their crimes while wearing masks of ex-presidents Reagan, Carter, Nixon and Johnson. The F.B.I. believes that the members of the gang could be surfers and send young agent Johnny Utah undercover at the beach to mix with the surfers and gather information. Utah meets surfer Bodhi and gets drawn into the lifestyle of his new friend.