Hot travel spots lure those seeking escape.
Tropical destinations with their sandy beaches and laid back attitudes are a great place for escape. That's what honeymooners, snowbirds and stressed-out office workers think, but criminals find a more literal meaning and a place to blend in among a world of strangers.
In his new book, Wanted: Gentleman Bank Robber, author Dane Batty provides readers with a rare glimpse behind the scenes of life on the run for Leslie Ibsen Rogge, an expert bank robber who robbed nearly 30 banks and netted over $2 million dollars.
The story reads as part action packed chase adventure and part relaxing travelogue. You almost forget that the sun drenched man with a beer in hand is on the FBI's Top Ten Most Wanted List and not just another carefree vacationer. Rogge's days in the Navy gave him experience with sailing which he used to travel around Mexico, the Caribbean and Guatemala.
In a place where being an out-of-towner is the norm, criminals can find a welcome space and room for anonymity. "The Caymans were beautiful.” Rogge recalls, "We anchored right off Georgetown’s Seven-Mile Beach in front of all the fine hotels. They didn’t really mind. The sight of sailboats anchored off their hotels did nothing but add charm, so some even welcomed us with free showers and beach rights."
Some find refuge outside the long arm of the law in exotic and far away locals. For Rogge, the FBI was never far behind. In Guatemala, he was finally captured. He now spends his days behind bars, in sunny Texas.