Is bank robbing slowly dying out?

The technology favors the bank, and the bank can easily afford these technology compared to bank robbers. We live in an eletronic age now. Even if the robbers are successful, it would be more difficult to use the cash. Banks deploy various techniques such as explosive balls filled with balls of unwashable paints, gps tracking of the trash, digital regisration of the cash etc. it seems to me bank robbing is now too high-risk and low-return and considering the punishment is still severe it just doesn’t seem worth it any more. So the question is, has bank robbing reached a point in modern days that it is slowly dying out as a criminal profession? Any statistics on that proving this point?

I forget where I read this–it might have been the Straight Dope column–but few bank robbers clear more than about $30K/year, which is less than I’ve made most of my adult life. Once it loses the “easy money” allure, yeah, it’s going the way of stagecoach robberies. Drugstores that sell the makings of crystal meth might be more bang for the buck, effort- and risk-wise.

What tools do the female tellers get?

Here are the FBI reports on bank crime for the last few years. Bottom line, 5-6,000 bank robberies a year. Its not going away.

Here in Cleveland, Ohio there is a major bank that uses a set of double doors at one of their branches.

As a customer, you first have to press a buzzer that lets a banker know someone wants to enter the bank.

Then, you have to wait for the second door to be unclocked.

Otherwise, you are caught between a set of locked doors.

I am thinking that a potential bank robber sees that and they will set their sights on another bank to rob.

That sounds like every bank in my area. Even the small ones.

Possibly. However, these days the criminals who rob banks tend to be the stupider ones, so they might not.

The Geezer Bandit appeared on the local news quite frequently here in San Diego from late 2009 through late 2011. He’s robbed at least 16 banks, and hasn’t been caught yet.

We have a few bank robberies every year. Usually the local news will report an arrest a few days later. It doesn’t seem like they get away with it very often.

Instead, we’re now getting even more disturbing robberies at restaurants. They rob the customers and the business. We had a bunch of those type robberies last year. They were in a nice part of town too. Pretty sure the same guys were doing it. They were finally caught. I don’t recall the details.

Here’s an interesting blog post where someone breaks down the numbers.

"Here, the FBI combines 5,014 robberies, 60 burglaries and 12 larcenies into its total of 5,086 bank crimes in the U.S. for 2011.

The total amount of cash that offenders stole from banks in 2011 was $38,331,491.85. For the total of all 5,086 bank crimes, the average take per crime was $7,536.67.

Of these 5,086 bank crimes, 4,534 resulted in the offenders making off with loot, or 89.2% of the total. "

Over 7 grand with a 90% success rate, per heist. I don’t think bank robbery is going away any time soon.

That is NOT a"sucess rate". The 89.2% is about they taking away the cash, not about not being caught. A criminal taking money then get caught 1 hour later by the police would still be regarded as “making off with loot”, does this sound “successful” to you?

In fact, your stats prove that bank robberies are in decline, i mean, $7000 on average? Compared with how many years they gonna have to serve it’s totally pathetic. They are better off washing dishes in a restaurant and earning the $7000 legally instead of spending like 10 years and restricted freedom in a prison for $7000 robbery. I think i agree with the poster that today’s bank robbers are dumb-asses.

I wonder if the bank also has to balance that with how their bona fide customers will react.

I am thinking that a potential customer sees that and they will set their sights on another bank to do business with.

A certain bank in my city (as of several years ago) re-modeled to be like that. (You also got momentarily locked between the doors on the way out, too.) I promptly took my business just a few miles down the same street to another branch of the same bank that didn’t do that.

ETA: I suppose I could name the bank, since they aren’t around any more. It was WaMu.

Seems as if it would be reasonably easy for the double set of doors to both remain unlocked - and thus untroubling to normal customers - except in a case where a robbery is in progress. When the “silent alarm” button has been pressed by a teller, outer doors lock immediately and inner doors lock as soon as someone makes contact (from the inside) with the outer doors.

If the robber(s) notices the outer doors are locked before the inner ones close, you may turn a simple bank robbery into a hostage situation.

I have a vague memory of reading that bank robbers are split into two categories. The organized and non-organized ones.

The organized ones often have guns, several people and some planning. They have a higher success rate and take off with more money.

The non-organized ones are mainly spur of the moment robberies done by lone addicts, often without guns, in need of a quick source of money to get their fix. It’s just one step up robbing a convenience store.

I can see how the organized group could make a calculated decision concerning the amount of money, preparation required and risk and come to the conclusion that it isn’t worth it anymore.

Junkies, on the other hand, aren’t great at planning and calculating which risks are worth taking.

Judging by news reports here in Chicago, it seems like some popular banks to rob are those bank branches located inside supermarkets. They lack those security features.

A friend of mine is a bank teller. She was involved in a hold up. Years later she was involved in a second hold up by the same guy, wearing the same clothes. The second hold up was the day he was released from prison, wearing the same outfit he was in when arrested the first time.

I call it a success rate because that’s the percentage that successfully committed a bank robbery. Getting away with it is a different matter. I don’t disagree that bank robbery is a poor career choice where the risks outweigh the rewards.

The bank will never expect it!

The cops will never suspect it!

The jury will reasonably doubt it!

Reverse psychology shall forever be my one and only master plan.

One kind of Bank robbery has been eliminated. Well, almost entirely. :wink:

That is breaking into the bank after hours. Either by tunneling or breaking through a wall from an adjoining business. The modern vaults with time release locks these days makes that nearly impossible.

I can’t recall an after hours robbery (excluding ATM’s ripped out of walls) in the U.S. in decades. Europe had one maybe 10 years ago where the thieves targeted the safety deposit boxes.

I recall a local story about an stolen ATM. The guy used a stolen piece of construction equip (backhoe, or something like that) to rip the ATM out of the wall. Cops found him and the ATM a few days later. The guy had tried everything and hadn’t busted it open.