Back in August, Jarred Schmittle, a 40-year-old white man from Lake Elsinore, California, tried to rob a bank in Corona, according to a new report in the East Bay Times. So far, so good, because who hasn’t thought about robbing a bank, right? Sure, it’s a pretty serious crime, but it’s hard out here sometimes, and only thinking about it doesn’t harm anyone. But the problem is with how Schmittle decided to go about his bank robbery. He appeared in surveillance video in a beanie and in full on blackface.
On August 18, police rushed to a Wells Fargo in Corona after a silent alarm indicated a robbery. Investigators later noted that the robber was a white man "with obvious dark make-up to disguise his appearance." He had given a bank teller a note demanding money and claimed he had a gun. But Schmittle ran off after only a few seconds without any money at all.
His horrible, racist way of trying to disguise himself worked for a little while, since police had no idea who he was. But on November 1, some new leads led police to Schmittle’s home in Lake Elsinore, and he was booked on Friday.
Now, if you’ve ever watched any bank heist movie, you know that there are many (non-racist!) ways to conceal your identity before robbing a bank. For example, you could go with Mike Myers masks like in Baby Driver, literally any other mask at all, or even the classic balaclava. But blackface is a particularly heinous way to go, because not only does it recall an ugly and shameful racist past, but it also suggests Schmittle thought it would somehow be harder to catch him if he looked like a black man. It implies he thought a black man would do something like that anyway. The entire thing is wrong and infuriating, but at least he’s locked up now.