Stephen Trantel- The Long Island Bank Robber- the First Post

The First Post- 12-5-10 

Stephen Trantel, The Long Island Bank Robber, is scheduled to be released from prison on 1-18-2012. He will have served seven years and eight months for robbing banks in Long Island, New York. Most of the banks lay within a few miles of his home Rockville Centre, where lived with his then wife, Jeanne and two young sons.  

The point is not that Stephen received unjust imprisonment. He would be the first to tell you that the sentence was fair. He would also be the first to suggest how he screwed up. His contrition for his crimes is genuine. He lost 92 months in his life for a four-month crime spree.

The Story

From July to November of 2003, Stephen Trantel, Wall Street futures trader and staunch family man robbed 10 banks, netting just over 60k. He was not armed and no one was injured during the commission of the crimes. The police dubbed him the Long Island bank robber.

 His story has been featured on 48 Hours (Stolen Dreams, 2008), Who the Bleep Did I Marry? (Keeping Up Appearances, 2010) and is scheduled to be told in the new season of American Greed (2011).  Following are three links videos and commentary about his story:   (48 hours story) (Who the Bleep Did I Marry)   (Naked with Socks On blog)

What intrigued me was that Stephen grew up a regular guy. By all accounts, Stephen was a good husband and father. He had been in trouble only once in his 38 years—a DUI at the age of 18.

Armed with a degree in business from State University of New York (SUNY) in Plattsburgh, he toiled and for 15 years thrived in the cutthroat, frenetic, legalized gambling universe of commodities trading on Wall Street in New York. He traded silver, gold and crude oil futures.

The Book

So, how could a 38-year-old father of two, who at his height made 300k gross in one year, end up robbing banks?

That’s what fascinated me when I watched the 48 Hours program about Stephen’s crimes. That is why I’m writing the book– Please Don’t Cancel My Shadow- The Story of Stephen Trantel, The Long Island Bank Robber.  

This Blog

I talk to Stephen twice weekly. This blog will include thoughts from Stephen about life in prison, about how he survived being “just a visitor in the alien world of prison” and about how he maintained a positive outlook and transformed his life.

Most of all, it will serve as a countdown to his release and how he will prepare for life when he walks out the prison door.

How will he earn? The lack of ability to do that is what put Stephen in prison. What will it be like to try to earn in this economy with convicted felon as a resume entry?

With at least twice weekly entries, we will track Stephen’s last year in prison as he prepares to resume his life in the world at age 45, with two young sons of 14 and 11 (his wife divorced him shortly after he entered prison).

His website is

My contact information is:

Steve Wyrostek (Mayfield) MBA, BA

8 Harbor Isle Drive

New Buffalo, MI 49117

About stevewyrostek

I am a freelance internet writer. One of my projects is a the book called: The Crimes and Secrets of a Desperate Dad, The Story of Stephen Trantel, The Long Island Bank Robber. I am riveted by the story of this staunch family man, with no criminal background, who couldn't earn any longer and how he came to the decision to rob banks.
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7 Responses to Stephen Trantel- The Long Island Bank Robber- the First Post

  1. Pam Lowry says:

    Praying that Stephen will be able to come out of Prison and regain his life back. I know that your past does not have to determine his future. I would say “Good Luck” but I believe that God has a reason and purpose for all things. I will keep him and his children in my prayers.

  2. My advice to Stephen is go to Hawaii As soon as you can. Anyone that has been in jail benefits from a law there that forbids employers from asking if you have ever been in prison. The opinion is you paid for your crime, get it behind you.

  3. Mark Dagnen says:

    A lack of ethics, integrity, and moral value can hardly explain this man. The damage he did to his wife and children is catostrofic. Millions of Americans face far worce plight and humiliation without bank robbery.

    • Rich Harp says:

      Such compassion. I suppose you never had a moment or a period without complete clarity in your life. For God’s sake, the man was in fear of losing everything he had worked for including his wife (who I would say was just a gold digger since she divorced him shortly after he started his sentence. Of course you would justify that by saying she deserved better.). Lack of judgement and acting on it with no intention of hurting anyone is hardly what you claim. By the way it is “Catastrophic.” Best of luck Stephen.

  4. Sharli says:

    I watched the interview with this man on 48 Hours Mystery. He made mistakes for the sake of family and keeping his head above water. I don’t condone his actions, but his motivations and heart were in the right place. You see genuine remorse for his actions, not like so many other criminals whose tears a sympathy are only for themselves. He has lost his wife and years with his children; he’s paid the price for his actions and I pray that he is able to regain some semblance of a normal life. Don’t look back, just forward, Stephen. I wish you the best.

  5. MaryAnn says:

    The man was obviously in a very desperate state. All though he went about it the wrong way, he tried to protect his family from financial ruin. He did his time and has learned a very hard lesson. Give him a break, there are far worse people in this world. I wish him luck in the future.

  6. Barbara says:

    Just saw the story on Stephen and wanted to wish him well on his future. I can’t imagine what he went through that had him make the decision to rob the banks and have that snowball into the end of his marriage and loss of watching his children grow up. I’m happy to see that he has embraced his catholic roots and is putting his life back together one day and step at a time. He and his family will be in my thoughts and prayers.
    All the best!

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