Caught with the goods

bank robberwebMost bank robberies are boring for the photojournalist. Robberies like the infamous 1987 North Hollywood robbery and shootout are, thankfully, very rare. Usually, a bank robber enters the bank, tells the teller he has a weapon or hands the teller a note, is given some money and walks out of the bank. By the time police arrive he, or occasionally she, is gone. The picture left for the photojournalist? An officer standing in front of the bank entrance, or a police technician dusting the door for fingerprints. Every photojournalist has shot that picture. A lot. It is so cliche that most newspapers don’t even bother running it anymore. On this day, likely in the late 1980s, I got lucky. This robber chose a downtown bank, on Chester Avenue. There are lots of cops downtown, since that’s where their headquarters are. That’s also where The Californian is, so I could get there fast. This fellow was nabbed just after walking out the door, and I was able to get there quick enough to get this shot of the police holding him down and scooping up the evidence at the same time.

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