Costumed stickup men and women have pulled off a series of robberies that experts say are as rare as they have been unprofitable, says the Wall Street Journal. There was a robber in the “Scream” mask and one dressed as Catwoman; the football player and Darth Vader, helmet, cape and all; and two people in gorilla suits accompanied by another dressed as a chicken. Although the outrageous disguises drew a great deal of attention–the opposite of what most criminals want–many of the costumed robbers are still at large. About 55 people, on average, get robbed every day in New York City and Long Island, adding up to more than 15,000 robberies this year.
Dan McCaffery, an FBI agent in New York’s Violent Crimes unit, said most robbers make some attempt to hide his or her identity. The type of disguise usually depends on the type of robbery. McCaffery specializes in tracking sophisticated South American stick-up crews that target jewelry stores and jewel carriers. For those criminals the most popular disguise is an old standby: ski masks. “The reason being it shows the least amount of identifying information; it conceals you face, your hair, your complexion,” McCaffery said. A close second is hoodie sweatshirts with bandanas pulled up over the face. David Caskey, FBI Bank Robbery Coordinator in New York, says that among bank robbers, “very few wear anything other than a baseball hat and sunglasses.”