Often I’m called to provide perspective on breaking news as it relates to personal security, violence and fraud. Tonight it was bank robbery. In Boston a white male suspect in his 20’s has robbed at least 4 banks since Feb. 3rd and two of those were done today within a few miles of each other.
In the first, he went up to a teller who was in training, startled, she said she did not have any money in the drawer and he left the bank without trying. Obviously he did not have an alternative plan.
Each time he has passed a note demanding money and implies a weapon, but no weapon is shown.
The local police department talked to the media about how more and more suspects are desperate because of the economy and not experienced bank robbers. They also said that a lot of them don’t care about the survelliance cameras or the jail time that they might face if caught. The FBI and local police departments are investigating these robberies.
In New York City Bank robberies have risen 54 percent compared with last year, with criminals committing more than 430 in the past year, according to the NYPD.
New Yorks Police commissioner was quoted saying “They’ve turned banks into cash machines”
Numerous studies certainly show crimes tends to rise when times are tough. Right now its pretty tough and getting uglier for many. But rob a bank? I know plenty of people who have hit hard times. I can’t think of one who had the epiphany “Today I’ll rob a bank”.
I saw a story recently about a guy who walked out of a grocery store and stole a full a cart of food to feed his family and was caught. He was quoted saying “it was worth the risk to feed my family”.
Illegal, wrong, understandable.
What’s more likely is people who are robbing banks have committed crimes before. Bank robbery is a desperate and aggressive act. Chances are this individual is like most, suffering from addiction, heroin, Oxy-contin, and is desperate for his next hit. People who rob banks have an equal amount of desperation and stupidity as they do huge balls.
I think it’s safe to say that while the economy may have people all jittery, you won’t see many executives from failed investment firms who were laid off go and rob a bank. This person hasn’t robbed four banks to pay his cable bill. He’s a mess.
These arent well thought out, rational, previously employed people. These are people who have been involved in criminal acts their whole lives and this is the next step for them.
I would gather that someone is doing a study somewhere and will conclude that in-fact there is a spike in robberies during hard times. We see the same thing around the holidays. People are emotional, they feel pressure and go a bit nutty.
Robert Siciliano discussing bank robbers motivations Here