The Dangers of Hitchhiking: Bank Robber Hitches Ride With Undercover Officer

MarkEarlWhite.jpgEveryone is told about the dangers of hitchhiking: you simply do not know who the driver might be. The lesson was learned by Mark E. White, 50, who decided to rob a bank just three weeks after being paroled from prison. He then flagged down a car for a ride — driven by a cop.

White reportedly robbed a bank while threatening to detonate a bomb. He was only two blocks away in Saginaw when he decided to hitch a ride. He had just served a sentence for drunk driving and has a prior bank robbery conviction.

He is now charged with bank robbery, making a false bomb threat, attempted carjacking, assault with intent to commit a felony, assault and resisting arrest.

For the story, click here.

11 thoughts on “The Dangers of Hitchhiking: Bank Robber Hitches Ride With Undercover Officer”

  1. Regarding hitchhiking–by the time the mid to late 1960’s rolled around, the situation had already started to get bad. It got worse in the 1970’s, especially because there were a number of young women who disappeared and never seen again, here in the Boston area, and their bodies turned up in a number of weird places. Boston was in the national spotlight for a number of weeks, at least in part because of all those young women who were killed while hitchhiking, and there were a couple of young guys who hitched a ride home with a couple of white toughs from South Boston, MA not long after that, and were murdered.

    I would not hitchhike nowadays (I haven’t for years), although I did occasionally hitchhike in the early to mid 1970’s. Somewhat weird experiences, plus hearing about the news of all those young women whose bodies were dumped along the roadside after hitchhiking permanently determined. There are lots of crazy mofos out there, and, while they’re not in the majority, one never knows if or s/he may come across one.

    I also might add, that, regarding meeting strangers, it’s one thing if you meet someone at a dance, a party, or even a bar or nightclub. There’s always the opportunity to duck out quickly if the situation starts to get dicey. However, when one gets into a car with a total stranger, whether its as a hitchhiker, or who picks up a hitchhiker, they’re putting themselves totally at the mercy of a strange person, and s/he has little or no control over what may happen, if one gets the drift.

  2. Imo, anybody who either gets into a car with a total stranger, or picks up a total stranger, no matter where it is, or what time of day or night, etc., is definitely playing Russian Roulette! That’s one big reason why most people no longer hitchhike or pick up hitchhikers.

  3. Ya know some people just have a bad day all the time. Now he has time on his side, yes he does.

    “Gimme a Ride To Heaven Boy”
    by (the great!) Terry Allen

    Well I was caught up with myself
    On the highway at night
    Drivin like a bat outta hell
    When I beheld an amazing sight
    It was a lonely apparition
    By the roadside standing there
    With his thumb out in the wilderness
    And a halo in his hair

    He said “Gimme a ride to heaven boy
    I’ll Show you paradise
    Yeah gimme a ride to heaven boy
    My name is Jesus Christ”
    So I come screeching to a halt
    I said “Hop on in”
    He sais “thanks a lot for the lift
    I forgive you of your sins
    Yeah I just come from Jerusalem
    Where things are going bad
    Ahhh gimme a ride to heaven boy
    I need to talk to my dad”


    Well I didn’t know what to do
    So I jammed her down in gear
    Kind a kicked my feet beneath the seat
    I was trying to hide the beer
    Ahhh but he just grinned and said “My friend,
    I know you must think it’s odd
    But you got nothin to fear about drinkin a beer
    If you share it with the son of God”


    Well I saw good news in his baby blues
    So I stomped it on the floor
    I said you have to show me how to get there
    I ain’t been before
    “Well it’s a hard place to find” he said
    “But I’ll give you a little clue
    It ain’t somewhere up in the air
    Its sittin right here inside with you”
    Then right in the middle of that perfect smile
    From his robes he pulled a gun
    An stuck it up beside my head and said
    “How’s this for Kingdom Come?”
    Well I pulled off scared but I heard him say
    As he left me beneath the stars
    “The Lord moves in mysterious ways
    and tonight, my son … He’s gonna use your car”
    Chorus repeats

  5. It’s not just the police, the prosecutors, judges, prison guards, et al with a “revenge” and “punishment” mindset. A large majority of the public thinks prisoners don’t deserve rehabilitation since they’re criminals. Very shortsighted, but this country is shortsighted about many things.

  6. I wish more attention was paid to the fact that the American penal system has almost 0 (zero) reformative value.

    That’s because the legal system views (and treats) those accused of, and convicted of, crimes as scum. From the police who arrest them, to the guards at the jails and prisons where they’re housed, to the prosecutors and judges who try them, they are viewed as less than human and deserving of “punishment” for being “bad.” The problem is, when you view your fellow man in this light, with little or no redeeming qualities, deserving punishment (often severe), it is nearly impossible to foster a culture of rehabilitation within our penal system and, thus, effect any real change in our society.

    If the focus were taken off of penalizing people (and if we didn’t quite enjoy seeing others punished as much as we do), and the emphasis was put on rehabilitation, then I think you would see big changes. There has to be hope (read – a positive spark)in the sentencing of convicted criminals, whereby the judge’s comments are focused on betterment instead of punishment. A sentencing hearing — talk about a “framing” speech. What if we framed the whole thing differently? I’m not saying you don’t get 10 years (or whatever the sentence is) for your crime, you do. I’m just saying, why not let THAT be the punishment, and use the intent of the state – in words, actions and deeds – to rehabilitate?

  7. I wish more attention was paid to the fact that the American penal system has almost 0 (zero) reformative value.

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