Sunday, February 28, 2010

Time to get serious about the bank robberies?

I guess it shouldn't come as a surprise that in the worst recession since the Great Depression bank robberies would be on the rise.

What is surprising, to me at least, is the fact that financial institutions in Dover-New Philadelphia seem to have become an easy mark.

And what also is surprising is that neither the police chief in New Philadelphia nor the one in Dover have jumped on the issue to reassure the public. (At least I have found no evidence in the local media that they have.)

By my count, there have been a half-dozen or so bank robberies in the last year in Dover-New Philadelphia, including the last one on Feb. 25. The routine is similar. A man walks into the financial institution, hands a note to a teller, who then hands over the cash. The robber flees and is gone before the police arrive.

A former law enforcement officer told me that Dover and New Philadelphia police departments ought to be working together to help solve these robberies. He suggested a task force, of sorts, that would work undercover and in plain clothes, visiting financial institutions in both cities during hours of operation.

Of course it would just be easier to let the FBI handle the situation. Or would it?

In 2008, the last year for which statistics are available, there were more than 6,000 bank robberies in the U.S. (Clink on the link for the FBI's take on bank robberies.)

Given that fact, I think the FBI would welcome some kind of extra effort from our local police departments.

Fortunately, there have been no violent incidents connected with the heists in Dover-New Philadelphia -- no shoot-'em ups, no hostages, no out-of-control high speed chases.

At least not yet.

Be careful out there, folks.


kyle@sift said...

Solving these recent crimes would be great...but I believe PREVENTING more should be the priority. Banks make it too easy to rob them with their wide open spaces, lack of security guards and ridiculous policies.

Melvin said...

So what should be done? Post an armed guard in every bank lobby? Let them confront a potentially armed thief in a wild west shootout? Would you prefer to have a bystander shot and killed in the exchange of gunfire just to stop the thief from getting away with a few thousand dollars? The cost of settling the lawsuit from a killed or injured bystander would be many times that amount of money. I'd bet that the cheapest alternative is to just give the occasional thief the money they demand with their note to the bank teller. The loss from theft probably is much less than the cost of trying to stop the thief in the first place.