Banking Business Part 2: Key Bank Puts Hero On Ice

So Jim Nickolson bank teller at Key Bank is the target of a robbery.  Instead of just handing over the doe, he chases the criminal down and holds him for police to apprehend.  Key Bank fires Nicholson because he didn’t follow procedures in just acquiescing to the robbery. 

I’m kinda conflicted on this issue for a few reasons.  Surely the money that the thief stole was insured.  It would not have been a problem with them getting it back.  Equally true is that Nicholson’s attempt at heroics could have cost his life as well as the lives of other innocent people.  He says he understood the bank’s policy as well as why they fired him.  But that his instincts took over.  I can dig it.  It took big stones to chase this guy down understanding that it was a potentially dangerous thing to do.  I say this especially in light of former boxer Vernon Forrest being shot several times and killed recently in Atlanta for going after guys who robbed him personally.  Chasing after a criminal is a risky proposition.  It can go either way and one can end up admired or eulogized as a result.

On the other hand, I think back to a time when some friends of mine were robbed in a high profile bank robbery case locally a few years ago.  Two women who were roommates were abducted by some really sophisticated bank robbers.  They binded them in their own apartment over an entire weekend waiting on Monday to arrive, at which time one of the women was taken to the bank in the early morning hours to hit the safe.  Later we learned that they had staked out the apartment for weeks to pick up their patterns.  Since I was married to the branch manager of the same bank at the time, my home was staked out too but since our patterns of returning home were too sporadic we were not kidnapped.

Thank God they both made it out alive.  But they were terrified for months afterwards, and obviously had to immediately move from their apartment.  As bad as the memory of the robbery was for one of my friends in particular, what made the situation even worse was the way the local police, bank security and the FBI went about interrogating her about the incident as if she were a part of the caper.  She was literally driven to a nervous breakdown and for quite a while it seemed as if no one in authority had any love for her situation. 

It reminded me of the movie “Set It Off,” when the Vivica Fox’s teller character was robbed.  She was blamed simply because her window was picked by the robber.  My guess is that Nicholson would have caught some grief and would have had to prove he didn’t know the assailant or was party to the robbery if he didn’t do anything.  Sort of a lose lose.

I’m hoping that someone out there will see Jim Nicholson and offer this guy a job.  He may have broken procedure, but he is a gutsy fella!

One thought on “Banking Business Part 2: Key Bank Puts Hero On Ice

  1. Rich says:

    Man, this same thing almost happened to me back in ’94.
    I worked at the Galleria at Zeidler & Zeidler (men’s clothing store owned by Edison Brothers) and I was helping this couple when they said, “hey, that guy just stole a bunch of ties.” I asked, “are you sure?” They responded in the affirmative so I approached the guy slowly. As soon as I said “Can I see your…” he took off. My instincts kicked in and I just ran after him. Next thing you know I’m tackling dude in the middle of the mall and dragging him back in the store.

    Long story short, Edison wanted me to testify, but they made the mistake of telling my manager that I could have gotten fired behind that incident because I should have let the guy go. They were worried about him suing them for the way I tackled him and drug him back to the store. So when it came time to go to court some months later, I came up with amnesia and stayed home.

    I didn’t plan to be a hero. The adrenaline rush was just there and next thing you know I had sprung into action.

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