Just What We Needed: Raccoons Are Robbing Banks Now

Nobody’s going to argue that this has been a perfect year, but I think we were all hoping to be able to add 2020 to a long string of international successes in avoiding the calamity of raccoon bank robbers. But with just over two months to go, the unthinkable has happened: An ATM user in Redwood City, California, spotted two masked bandits marauding inside a bank after hours and alerted the local authorities, including the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA.

The two raccoons are hustling through a doorway conspiratorially, a reflection of a man taking the photo can be seen in glass
The two raccoons are hustling through a doorway conspiratorially, a reflection of a man taking the photo can be seen in glass

It goes without saying, of course, that because of their naturally occurring “bank-robber” masks, raccoons are the absolute worst possible animal to discover the subversive thrill of plundering a local finance house or knocking over the town’s savings and loan association. The patch of black fur around the eyes of the common raccoon (procyon lotor) is thought to provide protection from the sun’s glare, but it has long been known to science that it is also a dangerously effective disguise for desperados and footpads, and it has only been a matter of luck that, until now, North American raccoons have shown only a passing interest in despoiling our money-houses.

A closer shot of one raccoon seen through the office’s plexiglass walls, staring towards the camera with a paw on a mousepad
A closer shot of one raccoon seen through the office’s plexiglass walls, staring towards the camera with a paw on a mousepad

Thanks to quick action from officers of the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA, these particular scofflaws were shooed out of the bank before they could do their worst, but not before they had made their mark. According to Communications Manager Buffy Martin Tarbox:

There were muddy pawprints on a tree outside the bank, so we suspect the raccoons climbed the tree to the roof of the bank, and then somehow managed to crawl into the air ducts and fell through the ceiling tiles onto the floor of the bank. There were several broken ceiling tiles, and the masked bandits knocked papers around and even a computer over. Thankfully the raccoons were not injured during their morning escapade, and to our knowledge they didn’t abscond with any money.

A long shot of an office hallway with a raccoon slinking towards another open room on the far end of the room
A long shot of an office hallway with a raccoon slinking towards another open room on the far end of the room

With these two costumed holdup men back on the loose, it’s not an exaggeration to say that the absolute worst has happened. And as (frankly) adorable as it may be to see a furry bandit attempting to make a conference call while his best friend cases the joint, there’s no avoiding the fact that this is a catastrophe for America.

A zoomed-in photo of one of the raccoons sitting on an office desk near a typical office phone, looking towards the ground
A zoomed-in photo of one of the raccoons sitting on an office desk near a typical office phone, looking towards the ground

Formerly editorial director @BuzzFeed. Currently editor @Tenderly and writer at large. Email: JackAShepherd at gmail

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