Braylon Lionell Marshall: Inside the Addled Mind of an Alleged Bank Robber

This one begins with a wig, sunglasses, yellow capri pants and a man dressed as a woman.

On September 5 at First Convenience Bank, the strangely dressed man, who police say was Braylon Lionell Marshall, 24, handed a teller a rather dramatic note. It read, "I have a bomb. If you don't give me all the money my boyfriend in the car will blow up the bomb. Give me all the money."

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There were more demands. "Don't give me no bait cash," Marshall said, according to court documents, and placed a metallic drink shaker with a wire sticking out the top. "No tracers. No marked bills." The cash was forked over. All $466 of it. After some more of Marshall's ill-advised decisions, he was later arrested and punched in the face with a felony charge and a $20,000 bail.

There's something seriously wrong with the bank-robbing paradigm. These aren't the days of Al Capone, when mafia types would make out with cash stuffed into dollar sign-emblazoned sacks. Bank-robbing has ceased to be a viable crime alternative. The days when the loot was stashed in the back inside some hilariously large safe are gone.

Still, the robbers come, relics of a lost age and clad in some strange getup, trying to get at the phantom cash. Criminals, by and large, are a stupid lot. But this shit's getting ridiculous. Who even uses cash anymore?

There's got to be better ways to make a buck illegally. Shauna Dunlap, local FBI spokesperson, declined to specify to Hair Balls what those methods may be. But she did say the number of bank robbers, though it's no longer the lucrative business it once was, retains its hegemonic grip on the criminal class. Your guess is as good as ours. In most instances, the robbers don't even make out with enough money to offset the $5,000 the FBI rewards tips with.

In fact, she said, the recent increase in local bank robberies may be linked to the crime's plummeting efficacy. After the robberies fail, the crooks keep at it, quixotically hitting more banks for more cash that isn't there. It's gotten a tad embarrassing. In the old days, when tommy guns were big like Bieber, robbing banks netted a lot more dough. People dreamed of that one big score, and actors like Robert DeNiro delivered soliloquies on bank heists and their existential meaning. Hell, even America's first reputed bank robber, Pat Lyon, pocketed nearly $163,000 at the Bank of Pennsylvania in 1798.

Today, we're left with the likes of Braylon Marshall (allegedly). A man dressed up as a woman threatening banks with a metal shaker and wire for chump change and a decade-long jail sentence.

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