You might be surprised to learn that in this high-tech age we are living in, old-school bank robberies still occur. With the progression of manufacturing and technology, every bank is completely decked out with surveillance cameras and security buttons and many banks have their tellers behind a bullet resistant Plexiglas type wall. However, thieves still go for it and in 2009 the FBI reported over $45 million dollars was stolen and about 140 people were injured in about 6,000 bank robberies across the country.
From an economic standpoint, robbing financial institutions doesn’t pay very well. Research shows that the average take in a U.S. bank robbery is an average of $4,330 per person. It increases if the robbers have guns, but not by much.
In California bank robberies tend to be higher in banks that are near freeway onramps. With that in mind, today a group of suspects robbed a Bank of America this morning in the Canyon Country area and hopped on the freeway for their getaway. A pursuit ensued which ended 80 minutes later in South Los Angeles as the black SUV was finally forced to a halt due to traffic.
It seems like almost everyday, the local news in L.A. is showing a police pursuit down the 405 freeway. The unique twist in today’s pursuit was that the suspects began to toss cash from the car. Some bystanders thought it looked like Robin Hood had stolen from the rich and was trying to give to the poor. The local police chief put the kibosh on that line of thinking. He said that they were regular bank robbers who most likely were throwing money out the window to create diversions and roadblocks for the police. Thankfully, no injuries have been reported. Two suspects were arrested at the end of the police chase and investigators are still pursuing two more that had fled earlier on foot.
In another story that occurred last week, a knife-wielding suspect robbed a US Bank branch in Los Alamitos for the third time in 14 months. He demanded money from tellers and threatened them with a large butchers knife. He has not been apprehended yet, but the police have a good description of him. And, last week in another case, a Bank of America in East L.A. was robbed by 2 gunmen who first kidnapped the branch manager from outside her home, and then took her to the bank before opening hours. They told her to go inside and throw a bag of money out the back door. These suspects have not been caught yet either.
The end result of these risk-taking adventures is that once caught, bank robbery is considered a federal crime that carries with it a federal punishment. Bank robbery is generally severely punished with a long imprisonment. Along with imprisonment, many jurisdictions will mandate theft classes like those provided by the AJ Novick Group, Inc. The purpose of these classes is to teach thieves what the impact of their actions are on society, how to control their impulsive behavior, empathy and consequences of theft. Classes are available online from any Internet based computer. They provide convenience for those who don’t have transportation or are unable to get to a particular school. They are generally meant to help criminals assimilate back into a society with an understanding of how their behavior impacts those around them.