Three economics professors from the U.K. were treated to what they call “rare, perhaps unique, access to a normally confidential data set” from the British Bankers’ Association and to U.S. data from the FBI. “The return on an average bank robbery is, frankly, rubbish,” the trio said. Based on 2006 data, the average take from a bank heist was $4,330. “A single bank raid, even a successful one, is not going to keep our would-be robber in a life of luxury,” the professors said. Therefore, repeated heists would be required to make a living, yet, “after four raids, he is more likely than not to be inside (prison).” Armed robbers came away with more than unarmed, the economists reasoning that the risk was greater, so the rewards would be greater as well. However, the reward is modest given the harsher judicial penalties. “As a profitable occupation, bank robbery leaves a lot to be desired,” the three concluded.

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