The movies tell us that tunnels are normally dug when a person locked behind bars laboriously scrapes away dirt with just a spoon to secretly set themselves free.
Now some naughty scamps in Salford, Greater Manchester, have used the technique, not to escape, but to break their way into a shop to steal cash out of an ATM.
Reportedly the mole-like miscreants snaffled a cool £86k during the raid at Tesco in Liverpool Road, Eccles, a week ago.
Staggeringly, despite spending months digging a huge 50ft tunnel underneath the supermarket, the subterranean bandits went undetected and remain at large.
Cops said that the robbery took place between midnight and 6am on Friday, 14 March.
The Greater Manchester police added:
The thieves tunnelled under nearby wasteland overnight and in to the shop, where they stole cash boxes containing a substantial sum of money. The thieves then disappeared back through the tunnel and escaped with the cash.
The plods' DS Mark Toker unashamedly admitted that the robbers had evaded capture so far.
"The offenders must have spent long periods of time in the area over the last few months, which people may have noticed," he said. "You may have seen people acting suspiciously on Friday night, possibly covered in soil."
Do you regularly shop at the Tesco store in Eccles? And did you hear a racket as earth was being dug up beneath your feet? Was your eyesight impaired by all the loose soil flying around?
You may have seen people acting suspiciously on Friday night, possibly covered in soil - The Police
Police and the supermarket's workers in Salford may have had tunnel vision, but perhaps you can help catch the crims who did this. If so, call the cops on 0161 856 5353 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. ®