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New York, NY - Bank Heists Soar, Cops Blame Banks for Being Attractive to Robbers

Published on: September 11, 2008 10:27 AM
By: NY Daily News
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New York, NY - Bank robberies are up 50% this year, and the NYPD says it’s the banks’ fault.

The number of bank jobs hit 265 by Sept. 2, compared with 177 by the same time last year. Police say the problem isn’t that crooks are working harder - it’s that banks aren’t doing enough to protect their money.

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly is expected to call in bank execs in the coming weeks to press them to shore up security at local branches.

“The new thing with banks is to be ‘friendly’ to customers. Branches look like lounges - no glass partitions, no security guards,” said a police source. “They are ‘friendly,’ all right - ‘friendly’ to thugs who ‘withdraw’ other people’s money.”

The NYPD held a similar security bank summit in 2003 and asked banks to follow 14 “best practices,” from the use of digital cameras and exploding dye packs to bulletproof bandit-barriers for tellers’ booths.

Bank robberies dropped dramatically, from 408 in 2003 to a low of 229 in 2005. Since then, the crooks - often career criminals who averaged about $4,800 per heist - seem to have regained the upper hand.

The banks with the worst track record this year are:
• No. 1 Wachovia: 10 of its 24 branches have been targeted this year. Wachovia topped the list last year, too, with half its branches hit and crooks walking out with cash 100% of the time.
Wachovia’s 56th St. and Broadway branch in Manhattan was robbed four times last year - a record, police said


• No. 2 Commerce, self-described “America’s Most Convenient Bank”: 28 of its 64 branches have been targeted this year. It ranked second last year, too, with nearly half of all branches hit and thieves walking out with money 97% of the time.

• No. 3 Sovereign: 28 of its 81 branches have been hit this year. It ranked third last year with 46% of its branches hit and money successfully stolen 84% of the time.

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Read Comments (8)  —  Post Yours »


 Sep 11, 2008 at 11:32 AM annon Says:

I never understood the stupid practice at commerce banks of not having ANY protection at all for thier tellers... and customers.

When i once asked the Bak Manager at my local branch to explain.. he told me that "they feel that people are afraid to rob Commerce banks since they're all made of glass and everyone on the outside can see whats doing inside"

I guess they're not THAT afraid.....


 Sep 11, 2008 at 11:42 AM Anonymous Says:

"thieves walking out with money 97% of the time"

Wow if I was going to rob a bank I like my chances


 Sep 11, 2008 at 12:45 PM miamiyid Says:

can i join you 50/45 split?


 Sep 11, 2008 at 01:11 PM political analyst Says:

"hey, that's where the money is!"

the above quoted is attributed to willie sutton the notoriously popular & charming bank robber upon being asked why he robs banks.


 Sep 11, 2008 at 08:10 PM interdimgonnifbrentdishittel Says:

The police should be extra watchful and when these robbers get caught they should throw away the key. You will see how quickly bank roberies decline.


 Sep 11, 2008 at 09:52 PM JBC Says:

With the revolving door of justice known as our criminal court system, I am surprised that the numbers aren't higher. Every time a high profile crime hits the paper followed with an arrest, they always report as to how many times the criminal has been arrested before, yet they never seem to be in jail.


 Sep 12, 2008 at 11:54 AM ChaiKock Says:

It sounds like these robberies mean nothing to the banks. But in the end we all pay.


 Sep 12, 2008 at 03:18 PM Murray Says:

It is idiotic to blame the banks for "being attractive" By the same logic you should blame a rape victim for being attractive to rapists (blame the victim).


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