25 bank robberies every day -- 1/4 get away with it

On average, there are 9,000 bank robberies in the US each year. Few are quickly apprehended, and a quarter of them are never solved. Why don’t we hear about them on the local news?

I hear about bank robberies when they happen locally in my local news. There’s a couple banks around here that actually get hit fairly often. (By often I mean once every year or two, not weekly.)

I don’t hear about bank robberies in my local news if they happen in a different city.

Unless it is something especially out of the ordinary, it doesn’t make national news.

If you aren’t hearing about it in your local news, then it may be that the banks in your locality are not being robbed.

No one seems to have proofread the article:

§ Injuries occur in about 2 percent of bank robberies in the United State s and in 6 percent of robberies in Australia (Maguire and Pastore, 1997; Pastore and Maguire, 2005; Borzycki, 2003). A death occurs in about 30 percent of U.S. bank robberies (Pastore and Maguire, 2005).

A little while ago I saw Point Break was on TV and watched bits and pieces. On first coming onboard, when Johnny Utah’s boss tells him that he is in the “bank-robbery capital of the world,” Utah interjects, “1,322 last year in LA County.” I thought, surely that must be a mistake, there couldn’t be several per week in LA alone. But a bit of research showed, just as the OP has, that they are far more common than I would have thought.

This piece is very interesting: The Rise and Fall of the Bank Robbery Capital of the World.

Between 1985 and 1995 the approximately 3,500 retail bank branches in the region were hit 17,106 times. 1992, the worst year of all, there was an almost unimaginable 2,641 heists, one every 45 minutes of each banking day. On a particularly bad day for the FBI that year, bandits committed 28 bank licks. There were years during that stretch when the L.A. field office of the FBI, which covers the seven counties in the Los Angeles metro region, handled more cases than the next four regions combined.

That’s some sharpshootin’.

Closer to reality, a Wikipedia criminal justice source cites fatalities in the U.S. as occurring in under 1 percent of bank robberies.

Your F.B.I. says that in the most recent year for which it’s released stats (2018), there were a little over 3,000 bank robberies, not 9,000.

I used to cover bank robberies in Indianapolis when I worked as a reporter there. The stories generally were not very interesting. The hoodlums always got away with “an undisclosed amount of cash”, leading me to wonder if banks had a special satchel labeled “undisclosed amount” which they set aside for robbers.

The golden age of bank robberies is long gone. Cybercrime is lots more lucrative and you don’t have to wear a mask or carry weapons.

There are over 16,000 murders per year in the U.S. Close to 100,000 rapes. Over 250,000 robberies. Over one million burglaries. There’s just a lot of crime. It can’t all make the news.

And most “bank robberies” aren’t cinematically dramatic armed raids by highly coordinated and well-equipped gangs who break open the vault. A lot of them are just a guy walking up to a teller with a note that says “I have a gun. Hand over all the money in the till.” And the teller does, and the guy walks out with a few hundred bucks. If there’s an armed guard in the branch, they may try to apprehend the guy, but for example most bank branches where I live don’t even have guards. There’s just not a lot newsworthy to most bank robberies.

I think the policy is based on liability. Resistance leads to violence, and that leads to lawsuits because of personal injury or death. It’s much cheaper just to let the guy walk out of the bank with what is, to them, a paltry sum of money.

Why do you think no one proofread it? They appear to be saying that two percent of robberies result in non-fatal injuries.

Didn’t you read what I put in bold?
A death occurs in about 30 percent of U.S. bank robberies

Because it’s totally implausible that 30% of robberies end in a death and 2% end in injury without death. Unless bank robbers are going around triple-shotting people in the head, you don’t get a 15:1 death:injury rate from gunshots, and you certainly don’t get it from any other sort of crime-related injury.

Approximately 15% of criminal homicides are the result of bank robberies? I hope they aren’t shooting people in their cars in line at the ATM.

A friend of mine works for a bank. Her first experience with robbery happened 30 years ago. The guy was identified by camera, arrested, and sentenced to a prison term.

Dude served his time and was released. He immediately drove to the same bank, different location, and purely by chance my friend was working at that branch. Guy held up a teller (not my friend). When the police show up my friend tells them she is certain he was the same guy who had held her up years prior.

They found out he had just been released that same day. Checking the video at the prison they saw that he never even changed clothes before robbing the bank.

He was just trying to get some money to buy some new ones.

Hey, when you watch that guy in front of you who just completed 5 transactions and is reaching back towards the machine to start another one, you start considering it… :wink:

It’s bad enough that some people feel the need to entirely organize their wallet/purse before pulling away from the ATM, but once I was behind a woman that started putting on lipstick while at the ATM.

Maybe that’s the kind of hold-up at the bank that has a 30% fatality rate.

I swear, the driver in front of me at the bank drive-through is always refinancing their mortgage.

I remember reading a couple of years ago that first time bank robbers are fairly successful at getting away with it but once your robbed your second bank the arrest rate went up to virtually 100%. Looking around it seems that there is an average arrest rate of 60% for bank robberies(which is close enough to the 75% in the OP) but I can’t seem to find a breakdown on first attempts.

I’m saving my first bak robbery for when I really need 5 grand.

Most banks have specials for new clients.

I wanted to find the statistics for the UK, but there was nothing recent. The consensus of what I did find was that robbing a bank with a sawn-off is so last century. Even tunnelling into the vault looks a bit passé.

Modern criminals find the much more profitable and less risky method is cybercrime. Persuading pensioners to transfer their life savings into their own accounts is far easier than putting a gang together, stealing getaway cars and then trying to avoid all the CCTV and other security while not leaving any DNA clues.

This is not to say that the UK is a robbery-free zone. There were 83,930 robberies and 107,235 recorded thefts from the person in the year ending December 2019.

No cite at the moment, but I’ve read that the salary for a bank guard is more than the average amount stolen in a robbery.