uncarved shop rebrand

I had to overhaul the uncarved shop.

Someone hacked my site through the old shop and installed a phishing scam on uncarved.org. Basically a load of faked bank webpages were on there. 

I’m not quite sure what to think about that. I’m not keen on people preying on the naive and vulnerable, but it’s not clear to me if the banks end up suffering from these scams or their customers.

(If you ordered anything from the old shop don’t fret, none of your bank details or anything serious were stored on the site).

Basically I agree with Martin on this one – there should be more people robbing banks in the traditional way and less of this computer-based tom-foolery. Same goes for music – in the olden days people had to stuff LPs or CDs into their trenchcoats if they wanted to hear stuff for free. Or at the very least have some decent mates to tape things for them.

Which is a slightly unusual way of introducing a top ten showbiz bank robbers:

1. The Bonnot Gang, 1911-1912

French anarchists who were the first to use cars for their getaways. The book about them is full-on, I can recall a few accounts of bitter sectarian in-fighting, including a rival sect’s printing press being smashed up.

This tradition is allegedly being kept alive by Italian insurrectionist anarchist Alfredo Bonanno who was arrested at the age of 70 in 2009 for robbing a bank in Greece. My recollection is that there was some doubt about whether he actually did the deed.

2. John Dillinger, 1933-1934

Didn’t he rob 23 banks or something? William Burroughs was keen on him: “To John Dilinger in the hope that he is still alive“.

3. Bonnie and Clyde, 1931-1934

Exerted an almost tectonic pull on everyone from Serge Gainsbourg & Brigitte Bardot to Papa Levi. Inspired that whole Thelma and Louise live fast die young, roadtrip kind of vibe.

4. Ronnie Biggs, 1963

Punk icon recently discussed here.

5. Red Army Faction / Andres Baader & Ulrike Meinhoff, 1970-1972

Sports cars, flashing their tits to the PLO, bombs aplenty. Punk, and yet so very serious and so very very wrong.

6.The  Covenant Sword And The Arm of the Lord, 1980s

Extreme right wing “Christian Identity” cult which robbed 19 banks in 8 US states in one month. They apparently spent all the money on guns, displaying a typically fascist lack of imagination. Included here because Cabaret Voltaire named their 1985 album after them.

7. Patty Hearst, 1974

“Death to the fascist insect that preys on the life of the people!”

Sixties pin up! Rich girl turns insane maoist terrorist! Locked up and then pardoned by philanderer Bill Clinton! Acts in John Waters movies!

8. Chelembra Bank Robbery, 2007

80 million rupees in the back of the van. Our anti-heroes took over the restaurant under the bank. Then drilled a massive hole through to the vault under the guise of renovating it.

If that isn’t mad enough, the whole scheme was inspired by a Bollywood movie. Respect.

9. The Geezer Bandit, NOW

For the name alone, really. This guy is apparently in his SEVENTIES and has been expropriating the expropriators in Southern California. He’s done 13 banks, including one on the 28th of January this year. Apparently has inspired facebook fan pages and also at least one copy cat robber. Also rumoured that he’s a young man in a rubberised Scooby Doo villain mask?!

10. Unknown: Central Bank of Iraq, 2003

The day before the United States began bombing Baghdad, nearly US$1 billion was stolen from the Central Bank of Iraq. This is considered the largest bank heist in history. Opportunism or what?

ANGRY BIRDS GOLDEN EGG BRIGADE BONUS LEVELS:

Rubbish bank robbers:

They were trying to put it back?!

Not actual bank robbers:

Rob Da Bankfestival organiser

The Blaggers – anti-fascist Oi band, who became “ITA”.

Banksy, heritage attraction in bohemian Stoke Newington.

6 Comments

  1. MARTIN says:

    Ha ha, nice list. I’d add IRA and the Northern Rock raid, just for Sinn Fein’s brazen, “Uh? Dunno. Oh that. Oh right. What was the question again?”

    One of my early memories in the UK was a guy called David Martin (just cos we had a name in common), there was a big, brief media furore when armed cops shot somebody in a car who looked like him. Apparently DM was a transvestite by night, a few google searches turned up…

  2. JOHN says:

    Hi Nigel – alas, no that is not my masterwork :-) Thanks for the chronology, I knew I’d read some stuff about this elsewhere. Pretty mad…

    Martin – oh I think I remember the guy getting shot, can’t remember his name though but yes it was a big deal at the time. Actually I think the incident might be referred to in Ranking Ann’s “Kill The Police Bill”.

  3. DANNY says:

    I’ve heard of that Jerome Eden guy, but never read owt by him. Flatland used to sell his books.

    Jon – I think you missed a trick not having Jacques Mesrine in there. Pretty non-stop career of holdups and prison escapes, kidnapping judges from courtrooms, that sort of thing.

  4. JOHN says:

    Hi Danny

    Yeah I’d heard of Mesrine, but had a mental block about the guy… he became a bit of a folk hero iirc, which is partly what all this is about I think…