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FBI Updates Bank Robbery Statistics

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Al Pacino turns bank robber in the film 'Dog Day Afternoon', 1975

Al Pacino turns bank robber in the film 'Dog Day Afternoon', 1975

Warner Brothers/Getty Images/Hulton Archive
Updated January 31, 2011
If bank robbery was one of our nation's key economic indicators, things would be looking up, according to the latest Bank Crime Statistics report from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

During the third quarter of 2010, US financial institutions reported 1,325 bank robberies, burglaries, larcenies or extortions, an increase from the 1,212 reported violations in the same quarter of 2009. Specifically, there were 1,310 robberies, 13 burglaries, two larcenies and six extortions of financial institutions reported between July 1, 2010 and Sept. 30, 2010. Of course, as the FBI points out, not all bank crimes are reported to the FBI.

Bank Robbery Profile

Some highlights from the FBI's latest Bank Crime Statistics report include:
  • Loot: What's the point of robbing a bank if you don't get money? In 90% of the bank robberies reported, robbers made off with loot totaling more than $9.3 million - mostly in cash. Of the loot taken, 20%, or nearly $1.4 million, was recovered and returned to financial institutions.
  • Best Time to Rob a Bank: Most bank robberies occurred on Friday, but regardless of the day, most robberies took place between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. - banker's hours.
  • Acts of Violence: Thing got violent in 4% of the incidents, resulting in 21 injuries, four deaths, and nine people being taken hostage. Firearms were shown or used in 333 bank robberies. In 568 cases, robbers claimed to have some sort of weapon.
  • Demanding the Loot: Passing a note to a teller or other bank employee was the most common method of demanding cash, followed closely by oral demands.
  • Bank Robbery Country: Most of the 1,325 bank robberies (482) were reported in the southern region of the U.S.
A total of 1,589 persons - 1,256 men and 124 women -- were involved in the 1,325 reported bank robberies, burglaries, and larcenies. In a small number of cases, the use of full disguises made determination of sex impossible.

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