August 17th, 2009
02:59 PM ET

Hold-ups down


Gabriel Falcon
AC360° Writer

Seventy-five years after John Dillinger’s reign as Public Enemy #1 ended in a hail of bullets, his criminal occupation continues to be a big draw for the lawless and crooked. But even with the downturn in the economy, it’s not as bad as 2008.

Second quarter statistics on bank crimes in America in 2009 were released today by the F.B.I. In all, the bureau reports 1,304 violations of the Federal Bank Robbery and Incidental Crimes Statute. The F.B.I says those numbers are down from the 1,444 violations reported in the same quarter of 2008.

Between April 1, 2009 and June 30, 2009, there were 1,278 robberies, 19 burglaries and seven larcenies. The total amount taken was $9,534,938 – nearly all of it in currency. Law enforcement agencies recovered 28 percent of the loot, which the F.B.I. defines as cash, securities, checks, food stamps and other property.

According to the F.B.I., men are far more likely to be involved. Of the 1,548 perpetrators in the second quarter incidents, just 92 were female. Regardless of sex, most stickups occurred on a certain time and day of the week. The F.B.I. says 396 of the 1,304 bank crimes were committed on Tuesday mornings between 9am and 11am. If your bank is open after 6pm on Saturday, you’ve got a better chance of not being robbed. The bureau reports just 37 bank crimes recorded on Saturday between 6pm and 6am.

For the bad guys, the direct approach remains the preferred method of doing business. Oral demands accounted for 759 of the bank crimes in the second quarter. In 678 of the incidents, a demand note was showed or shoved to a bank employee. A firearm was brandished 336 times. Explosive devices were used or threatened in 49 of the bank crimes. A trap device was used once.

Acts of violence were reported 51 percent of the time. In its media release, the F.B.I. said “these acts included 10 instances involving the discharge of firearms, 33 instances involving assaults and three instances of hostage situations.” Thirty people were injured in bank crimes in the second quarter of 2009. They included: 14 employees, seven customers, seven perpetrators, one law officer and one guard.

Two deaths were reported by the F.B.I. Both of the victims were suspects.

For unexplained reasons, the south is a hotbed for holdups, with 445 reported incidents reported between April 1 and June 30.

For more crime coverage go to cnn.com/crime.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Crime & Punishment • Gabe Falcon
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. junior

    That's because banks are too high tech and the police don't have the man power to stop the thief on the street.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  2. Annie Kate

    Only 28% of the loot recovered? That is dismal. Looks like it almost pays to be a bank robber with those stats. You also state that the bulk of the robberies took place in the south – what states? That would be interesting to know. Why it happens more in the south I don't know but perhaps its because the South tends to honor tradition and is slow to change – maybe its just more evident in crime!

    August 17, 2009 at 3:21 pm |