Profile America — Thursday, March 22nd. Banks hadn't been around too long in young America before someone figured out that robbing one of them would net more money than most people could earn in a lifetime. So, this week in 1831, Edward Smith committed the first bank robbery in the U.S. — his target was the City Bank on Wall Street in New York City. He entered the bank after it closed, using a duplicate set of keys, and got away with $245,000, a huge sum at the time. But he was caught, convicted and spent five years in New York's Sing Sing prison. Now, across the nation, there are 7,000 bank robberies annually, which works out to 19 each day. The average robber gets away with about $4,200. You can find these and more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau, online at www.census.gov.
Sources: American Speakers Calendar of Events Statistical Abstract of the United States 2012, t. 321
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