The FBI National Press Office recently released its 2010 Bank Crime Statistics. The 10-page report goes into extensive detail about the circumstances around bank robberies, burglaries and larcenies. While I am encouraged these crimes were down , I am discouraged to know that a large portion of stolen funds goes unrecovered.
Total reported violations in 2010 vs. 2009 were down by 8.5% which is surprising, given tough economic times. In 91% of the cases, loot was taken. The total amount taken was more than $43 million and of that, approximately $8 million was recovered. That leaves $35 million out there in the hands of the perpetrators. I would guess a lot of that has been spent on drugs because of the persons involved who have been identified, 35% of them were determined to be users of narcotics. 17% of them were found to have been previously convicted for bank robbery, bank burglary or bank larceny. Apparently they felt the potential payoff was worth the risk of ending up back in jail. Firearms were used or threatened to be used 69% of the time. Actual acts of violence were committed in just 4% of instances resulting in 106 injuries, 16 deaths, and 90 persons being taken hostage. Of the 16 deaths, 13 were the perpetrator.
Most robberies occurred on Friday, between the hours of 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m., followed closely by Tuesday between 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. The modus operandi used most often was a demand note, followed closely by oral demand. The Southern region of the U.S. had the most reported cases. Males were responsible for 92% of the crimes, with the mix of white males vs. black males pretty close to even. Robbers ended up with bait money (marked bills) in their bags in 1 out of 3 cases yet dye packs were only used 1 out of 10 times.
My interest in these statistics is influenced by the fact that I walk into a bank building every day for work and many of my friends and colleagues are stationed in bank branches . If you would like to know more, access the full report via the FBI’s reports and publications page.