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Bank robber nicknames

Here's how to get a great criminal nickname.

By Jonathan Messinger |

Time was all a man had to do was rob a bank, and his criminal colleagues or the media would give him a cool nickname: “Machine Gun” Kelly, “Pretty Boy” Floyd, etc. Nowadays, law enforcement bestows the monikers on robbers, and they tend to be more pejorative, like Seattle burglar “Bag Lady” or the transvestite “Man-Hands Bandit.” You need to work hard to get a good handle in this day and age, so here’s our advice:

STAND OUT The most boring burglar in recent times was the Cubs Fan Bandit, who burgled Chicago vaults in 2007 wearing a Cubs hat. You want something with a little more cachet. Try a more elaborate costume, like pretending you have only one arm, or that you’re Tom Hanks.

THINK LIKE A POET Internal rhyme helped make Pretty Boy Floyd a superstar, and Chicago burglar the “Hardhat Bandit” had both style and alliteration on his side. So do what you can to nudge the FBI into using more purple prose.

DICTATE THE TERMS You have to paint the FBI into a corner, giving them no choice but to dub you as you see fit. If you were to take our Tom Hanks suggestion, you might want to go barefoot and bearded, forcing their hand to call you the Castaway Crook. Catchy, alliterative and specific, that’s all you need. Now get robbing!