Bad Disguise #5: Shorts on Head

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For many people, the facial area is perhaps the most recognizable area of the body, and for that reason an effective disguise will cover that area almost completely. It is important not to cover the eyes, which are the two round things on either side of the thing that pokes out in the middle. Probably you'll need those during the robbery (you see with them). But you do need to cover the rest of the face, preferably with something that can be easily removed later.


A 43-year-old man forgot this rule last Friday when he tried to rob a bank on Stock Island in the Florida Keys. Police said the man (right) walked into First State Bank at about 12:30 p.m. with a pair of shorts on his head in a way that covered the back of his head but not the front (where the face part is). He handed the teller a note that said "Give me what are 20s and 50s," which sounds a little like he wrote it while Jeopardy! was on the background and he got confused. The teller, also confused, asked him what he wanted.

"Never mind," the man said.

As he walked out, the bank manager called police and gave them a description of the robber. He said the man was wearing a blue shirt and dark pants, and had scars on his face. (I assume he also mentioned the shorts, but the report doesn't say.) A deputy who happened to be nearby saw the man almost immediately. He was in the process of removing his pants (the robber, not the deputy), but jumped on a bike and fled when he saw the deputy coming toward him. He was caught a couple of blocks away. According to the report, "It wasn't clear whether police recovered the shorts, and why exactly the suspect had them on his head."

It sounds like the shorts might have been for the bicycle getaway and not necessarily for disguise purposes, although if that's true then there was no disguise plan at all.

The report notes that this bank was robbed on two consecutive days in September 2005, both times by the same man. During the second robbery, he said to the teller, "I was here Thursday and wanted to do the same thing today." Hey, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.