Back in 2006, we discussed the problems that one bank had when it installed what was then a relatively new technology called a “mantrap” in a branch located in a predominantly black neighborhood. Activists found the entire idea of bank personnel trapping a robber who just stole a wad of cash from the bank in a vestibule located between a rock and a hard place to be an obviously racist outrage. We were hard-pressed to find the discriminatory connection, but at the time, the bank deactivated the mantrap and opted instead to post signs asking those entering the branch to doff hats, hoods, and sunglasses. Apparently, no rappers banked there, because that strategy to deter would-be thieves generated no protests.
Fast-forward eight years and we find that unrepentant banks are still employing mantraps and…well…trapping men.
A bank robber nearly got away with the heist Thursday, until employees hit a button and trapped him between the bank’s two outer doors, state police said.
He was caught in what police call “a mantrap,” Sgt. Paul G. Shavack said.
The suspect tried to escape the electronically locked enclosure, attempting to smash the break-resistant glass of the windows and doors, Shavack said.
He managed to cause some damage – but didn’t escape – growing frustrated and wearing himself out as bank staff looked on, Shavack said.
Police soon arrived and arrested Stephen D. Dunfee, 38, of the New Castle area, without incident, he said.
Dunfee’s mug shot indicates that he doesn’t appear to fit any obviously protected group (unless dumbass is now a category of homo sapien entitled to special consideration), and he is bereft of hat, hood, or shades. I think we might have passed beyond the era of mantrap sensitivity into a new time when all robbers are trapped equally without regard to race, creed, color, gender, sexual orientation, or terrestrial origin, a time when being sandwiched in a bank branch vestibule is not only considered unobjectionable but…dare we say it…right and proper.