The World’s Politest Robber

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In the legal field, there are several different ways to characterize stealing stuff from people. For instance, robbery, in many states, is defined as taking something from another person utilizing violence or the threat of violence. If you threaten someone with something other than violence in order to gain possession of their property, for instance an embarrassing secret, then that is considered extortion. If you manage to take possession of property by fraud then that is usually considered larceny. But what do you call it when you ask nicely for the property of another, and they simply hand it over?

For instance, imagine walking into a bank and saying something like this to a teller: “Hello, I was just stopping by your bank and I was hoping you could give me some money. I have no weapon and intend no harm but I would really appreciate it if you slid a few thousand dollars across the counter.” Well, this actually happened, and a man in Israel secured $28,000 dollars in capital this way.

The man, a one Michael Hadar, walked into several banks and zeroed in on vulnerable teller. He would tell her to round up some cash, stuff it in a bag, and slide it over the counter, politely. He also would add that he had no intention or means of injuring her or anyone else in the bank. After receiving the money, he simply walked out of the bank.

To be honest, I’m not sure how to categorize the actions of Michael Hadar. It seems similar to a case of an ATM spitting out money, mistakenly. My guess is that at the very least, Hadar was forced to return the funds he asked for politely to the bank from which he pilfered from.

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