The Great Bank Heist of 1937
It was a sunny day on September 17, 1930 when a blue-black Buick Master Six yanked up to the curb of the Lincoln National Bank building at 12th and O Streets in Lincoln, Nebraska. They rushed into the building with shotguns and Thompson submachine guns and had everyone in the bank lay down on the ground. Most of the employees thought it was a joke, including the bank manager who had recently had a birthday and thought it was a practical joke. The bank robbers beat him and several others over the head to show they were serious.
The bandits knew the layout of the bank perfectly, including the back areas which were closed to the public. When they tried to get into the vault, they found it was locked, and the only employee with the key to it was gone. However, when they pulled at the vault, they found that it had been left unlocked. The time lock had not been set. Had it been an inside job, or just dumb luck?
Meanwhile, outside, anyone who came close to the bank was yanked inside and placed with the other hostages. One woman saw what was happening and ran across the street where she called the police. Like the bank employees, the police also thought it was a practical joke, but sent two officers to check it out. They were met by a machinegun wielding gangster outside the bank who told them to beat it. They rushed back to the police department to get backup, but by the time they returned to the bank, the bandits were gone.
After seeing the police, they had scooped everything they could into bags and rushed out of the building, throwing the bags into the car, and rushing away. They turned a corner and almost seemed to disappear, as no one could find them. The mystery of the bank robbery and how the crooks got away would never be officially solved, but all the money would eventually be returned.