12 February 2013
G-Men: A Detailed Look into the Day of the FBI
“Banks are an almost irresistible attraction for that element of our society which seeks unearned money.” (J. Edgar Hoover). These famous words from the first Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation were a symbol of the start of America’s war on crime. This quote stood as a direct reference to armed and unarmed bank robberies in the United States. At the front of this ongoing crime war is the Federal Bureau of Investigation, or the FBI for short. There are nearly fifteen-thousand robberies in the Los Angeles metropolitan area each year, but despite that debatably high number, crime rates are actually dropping at a rapid rate. Los Angeles Crime statistics report that overall crime incidents have gone down by virtually twenty-thousand. A lot of this deterred crime is attributed to the FBI, as well as the efforts of local law enforcement. It was a searing day in Los Angeles. The sun hung from the middle of the sky and seemed to almost liquefy the city below. The street reflected the heat like a tanning mirror placed beneath you. A car alarm echoed throughout the wide block before Bank of the West – an average looking bank painted tan with horizontal architecture that swept up the front of the structure. Two bullet holes plastered the echoing car like stickers placed meticulously on a movie set. Steam seeped from the engine block through the cracks of the hood and out into the blistering air, evaporating almost instantly in the blaze. A group of firemen detached the battery and doused the engine of the car with water, sending even more steam once again into the heated air. News reporters stood in front of bulky white vans, ducking the heat under sidewalk trees and overhangs from neighboring buildings. A bulky group of local citizens crowded behind police barriers surrounding the bank in an extensive ring. The barriers held back the murmuring crowd as chatter about what had happened drifted between their ears. An abundance of police officers stood around silently like mutes with sweat dripping from their brows, waiting for the detectives to finish and vacate the scene so they could do the same. Inside the bank, amongst a crowd of more police detectives and officers, you would find two men. The first man, whom we’ll call Mike, was a tall, slim man wearing a dark grey suit and tan leather dress shoes. He kept his hands spread in his pockets and looked like a gentle man who spoke easy. He turned and beneath his grey blazer was a black holster in which a forty-five caliber Colt pistol lay dormant. A shiny, gold tinted badge was also seen on the adjacent side of his waist belt. It read Federal Bureau of Investigation – Department of Justice. Mike was a detective for the FBI, stationed here in Los Angeles. Beside him stood a similar looking man, whose name was Patrick. He was shorter and wore a lighter-colored suit. He seemed thicker and broader than the taller agent beside him. He too wore a black holster in which a Colt pistol lay dormant, and he too wore the same shiny badge his fellow G-Man carried. Both men were partners, first on scene at an armed robbery in central Los Angeles. They had been chasing a serial bank robber termed the Big Bills Bandit, who earned the name after he had only stolen hundred-dollar bills from the four previous banks he had held up. He had been committing similar robberies in the Los Angeles County area for the past six months. The bandit’s shot up car that sat outside had been fired upon by an undercover officer who was entering the bank as the criminal was vacating. The criminal was hit twice by the officer’s rounds and was later shipped to a hospital for non-life-threatening wounds. This was the scene of a bank robbery as described to me by a friend and mentor, named Patrick. He had been in the FBI for nearly twenty years. Patrick stood at an average height. He was muscular, fit, and bolstered huge...