First U.S. Bank Robbery was on Wall Street

18 Mar

First Daylight Bank Robbery Marker
Following is the daily “Profile America” feature from the U.S. Census Bureau:


Profile AmericaSunday, March 19th.  Banks had operated in America for about a half century before someone tried to make an unauthorized withdrawal. On this date in 1831, Edward Smith committed the first bank robbery in the U.S. — hitting the City Bank on New York’s Wall Street. He entered the bank after it closed, using a duplicate set of keys, and got away with $245,000 — a huge sum at the time. By various calculations, that would be worth from $5.6 million to $6.8 million today. But he was caught, convicted and spent five years in New York’s Sing-Sing Prison. Now, across the nation, there are over 93,000 commercial banking establishments. As one 20th century bank robber supposedly noted, that’s where the money is — bank deposits total nearly $13 trillion. You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau online at

Sources: Kane’s Famous First Facts, 2773
The crime/accessed 1/12/2017:
Inflation calculator/lower figure:
Inflation calculator/higher figure:
Banking establishments/County Business Patterns/NAICS 522110:
Bank deposits/page 10/table III-A/accessed 1/12/2017:

Profile America is produced by the Center for New Media and Promotion of the U.S. Census Bureau. Statistics and accounts drawn from cited non-Census sources are employed for illustrative or narrative purposes, and are not attested to by the U.S. Census Bureau. These daily features are available as produced segments, ready to air, on the Internet at (look for “Audio” in the “Library” pull-down menu).

SOURCE U.S. Census Bureau

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Photo credit: jimmywayne via Visualhunt / CC BY-NC-ND

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