US woman arrested for bank robbery brags on YouTube about robbing a bank

Filed Under: Law & order, Social networks

Police mugshot of Hannah SabataIn yet another example of criminals who can't suppress the urge to fill their fans in on exploits via social media channels, a 19-year-old who posted a YouTube video about robbing a bank has been arrested for robbing a bank.

York County police in Nebraska arrested Hannah Sabata at her home in Stromsburg, Nebraska, on Wednesday and charged her with taking part in a Waco, Nebraska, bank robbery and car theft the day before.

Before police arrested her, Sabata took time out to post a video of herself cuddling some plastic baggies, a pipe purportedly full of marijuana, and a pile of what she informs viewers is $6,256 in stolen money.

The video, titled "Chick Bank Robber," [Video] features a silent Hannah holding up handwritten messages as Green Day’s "Warning" and "Minority" plays.

The messages tell the tale of stealing a "shiny. SHINY!!" Pontiac Grand Am with a "full bowl of weed." The self-proclaimed Chick Bank Robber assures viewers that she took off the license plates and threw them out, then robbed a bank with a gun, a pillow case and a note.

The reason for all this, she said, was that authorities took away her newborn baby, charging her with neglect, before she could take him home.

Here's the transcript:

I stole from a car a full bowl of weed in an ICP pipe.

and like, an ounce of weed and a couple pre-rolled joints. The other one has already been smoked.

Then I stole a car! (shows the keys) It is shiny. SHINY!!

wait. a**ho|es.

The shiny new car is a Pontiac Grand Am. Of course I already took the license plates off and threw them out.

Then I robbed a bank!! With a gun, a pillow case and a note. $6,256. I told my mom today was the best day of my life She thinks I just met a new boy. (fans herself with the cash)

Why? Because, you see, I am a victim of the government.

How? For one, the whole system is just a game.

Where’s my pen? OMG.

But more specifically because the government stole my baby and they took him away before I could even take him home. And they charged me with neglect. I may not be a mother anymore. But I can still find purpose

END.

Police have recovered all but $30 of the stolen money, according to the York News Times.

Handcuffs, courtesy of ShutterstockEven without the YouTube video, multiple people identified the suspect as the robber photographed by bank surveillance cameras.

With a search warrant in hand, police found "everything we wanted" at her home, York County Sheriff Dale Radcliff told the York News Times.

When she was arrested, Sabata was wearing the same clothes displayed on the bank's surveillance camera footage, he said:

"At the time of the arrest, she was wearing the same clothes she was pictured wearing during the bank robbery. … Then we found the pink back pack that she was seen carrying in the bank. We also found the sunglasses. It was everything we needed."

The York News Times reports that the sheriff's department has also recovered the stolen car allegedly used during the robbery. It was found in Buckley Park in Stromsburg, without plates.

Near the car, investigators also found a bracelet engraved with the words "I love Hannah."

Hannah money, courtesy of YouTubeFurther evidence includes a text received by her ex-boyfriend saying that Sabata had a lot of money and asking if he wanted to get a tattoo, according to KCCI, in Des Moines, Iowa.

Sabata is in custody at the York County Jail and has been charged with robbery, a Class 2 felony, and theft of a motor vehicle, which is a Class 3 felony. If convicted, she will face a possible maximum sentence of 70 years in prison.

The YouTube video will be submitted as evidence.

Sabata is, naturally, being called a long list of variations on "idiot."

I can't help but feel some sympathy, however, particularly after reading excerpts from Sabata's blog, as published by Starcasm.net. In her writings, Hannah claims a history of emotional trouble, HIV, and yet, still, aspirations to be a lawyer some day.

It's hard to know what to say when watching this slow-mo train wreck of a young life.

Most Naked Security readers already know that anonymity is difficult, at best, when posting material in public, online forums. Cooking up a fake name doesn't cut it in the world of IP addresses.

But it hardly seems appropriate to bring up such a tangential lesson when so much else has obviously gone so very wrong in this woman's life.

An ill-advised YouTube video is just the most public of a long list of bad choices.

Good luck to you, Ms Sabata, and hopefully you can turn things around, somehow.


Handcuffs courtesy of Shutterstock

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13 Responses to US woman arrested for bank robbery brags on YouTube about robbing a bank

  1. Jfritz3281 · 657 days ago

    She's an idiot. She makes dumb and dumber look smart.
    15 to 20 years in the right jail cell may help her grow up.

  2. Lisa Vaas · 657 days ago

    Or make her worse, given our penitentiary system.

    • Jeremy · 653 days ago

      ...and all Americans will be paying for her through their taxes. So happy I don't live in the US. :D

  3. Thank you Lisa for the thoughtful and mature conclusion to your report. It's refreshing. "But it hardly seems appropriate to bring up such a tangential lesson when so much else has obviously gone so very wrong in this woman's life" ... well-said.

    • Lisa Vaas · 657 days ago

      Thanks so much, @amarie. It's sad enough to watch the video, but to then read excerpts from her blog, well, good Lord, the poor creature.

  4. Mperor · 657 days ago

    Wait, backwards handwritten text isn't a good form of encryption? I'm going to have to re-do my password Post-It­ on my monitor!

    • Lisa Vaas · 657 days ago

      HA! Mperor, just send us a photo of your password, and we'll promise to analyze it and not to do anything bad with it. Really.

  5. Wow that is silly. And she's not the first one. I remember hearing about some other crims being bragged about on YouTube.

  6. Today's society is so screwed up. We are all so self-absorbed that most of us feel invisible. Our youth is crying out for attention so loudly through behaviors like this or, worse, the multiple killing sprees or suicides that have been taking place at an alarming rate. Alot of us make bad decisions, especially in active drug addiction; but drugs are not solely to blame for the tragedy of this young woman's demise. There is clearly so much more wrong here, like how on earth she thought robbing a bank was purpose, or how that was getting back at the government when we all know banks are corporately or privately owned. If only we would all stop focusing so much on ourselves and reach out to help direct today's lost, confused youth; maybe they wouldn't feel so invisible that they have to resort to these types of erratic behaviors for attention. We should stop being so judgmental of others and start trying to help them understand why they're wrong.

  7. Anon · 656 days ago

    That is incredibly sad. It IS more a comment on us as a society than her faults. She has needed help and where were all of us who have time to watch this crazy stuff happening all around us and yet do nothing. Shame on us for judging and have no courage to lift a finger to help.

    • K Shah · 642 days ago

      Thanks for your comment, as this is exactly what was in my mind.

      She seems to be a reflection of the society around her. Since she is only 19, she is very young and can easily turn her life around. I hope the ruling allows her to fix her life, heal from her trauma, get an education and pay back to society through community work and all shall be well.

      It is an observation of mine that when people are able to change their lives and turn them around, they often become an inspiration to others who are struggling to do the same, and hence the improvement is ones values, norms... and thereby creating a very positive role model = an improved society.

      About her HIV issue, I know of people who have been healed of it through spiritual healing (faith healing). That too she can be positive about and can look forward too.

      • Frazier Sheffer · 221 days ago

        I was following you until you got to the "faith healing" nonsense!

        Believing that HIV can be "healed" through divine intervention is a foolish and dangerous notion. There's not a shred of evidence to support that assertion, and for you to suggest such a thing makes you as irresponsible as the young lady in this video. Your heart may be in the right place but your head is somewhere else.

        I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you were blinded by the crucifix hanging around the young woman's neck. Personally, I thought it was more than a little ironic.

  8. We're all doomed · 656 days ago

    She was screaming for attention. I think she was still in the shock of, I have a deadly disease and lost my baby. Why would her mom want her to find a boy when she got hiv from the ex? I somehow feel bad for this poor dumb girl. About the straight A's, don't you only need an 8th grade reading level to graduate now?

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About the author

I've been writing about technology, careers, science and health since 1995. I rose to the lofty heights of Executive Editor for eWEEK, popped out with the 2008 crash, joined the freelancer economy, and am still writing for my beloved peeps at places like Sophos's Naked Security, CIO Mag, ComputerWorld, PC Mag, IT Expert Voice, Software Quality Connection, Time, and the US and British editions of HP's Input/Output. I respond to cash and spicy sites, so don't be shy.