National FBI Crime Stats Improve
How do 2002 statistics compare with 2001?
• Number of Robberies Down: The number of robberies, burglaries and larcenies in 2002 was down 9.7 percent from 2001 – 8,859 incidents in 2001 and 8,004 in 2002. This is the first time robberies have seen a decrease since 1999. Of 8,004 robbery incidents, commercial banks were the target in 87 percent of the cases. Credit unions were the victims in 7 percent of the cases, and savings and loans and savings banks were hit in another 5 percent of the cases. The number of armored car carriers robbed decreased from 67 to 57.
• Loot Taken: Along with the decrease in robberies, the amount of loot taken also decreased. In 2002, approximately $76 million was taken, down 14 percent from $88.5 million in 2001.
• Twenty-one percent ($16 million) of loot taken was recovered in 2002. The recovery ratio for 2001 was 16 percent with $13.7 million being recovered.
• Robber Profile: For over 10 years, the robber profile has changed little. Black male robbers account for 46 percent, while 38 percent are white males. The remaining 16 percent were black or white women, Hispanics and other ethnic backgrounds, or the robber was unidentifiable due to a full disguise. Forty-five percent of the robbers were determined to be users of narcotics (0 percent in 2001) and 17 percent have been previously convicted in either federal or state court for bank robbery, bank burglary or bank larceny.
• Day, Time and Location: The most common day, time and location of robberies has not changed for the past few years. This continues to be Friday between the hours of 9 a.m. and 11 a.m., with branches being robbed 91 percent of the time. For the first time, this year’s report breaks out store or supermarket branches. There were 207 robberies at this type of office, accounting for 2.5 percent of all robberies.
Eighty-six percent of the robberies took place at the teller counter.
• Methods of Operation: The most common method of operation was the demand note. In 2,414 robberies a firearm was used. In 3,519 robberies, a weapon was threatened or implied orally or in a demand note but never observed. In 305 robberies, an explosive device was used or threatened.
• Acts of Violence: In 5 percent of the robberies in 2002, there were acts of violence, similar to 2001. The number of injuries remained approximately the same at 164, compared with 160 in 2001.
However, despite the decrease in robberies overall, more individuals died and were taken hostage in 2002 than in 2001. The number of deaths doubled from 14 in 2001 to 28 in 2002, and the number of hostages taken also increased from 51 to 136. In 2002, there was a 200 percent increase in employees taken hostage, from 34 in 2001 to 101 in 2002. In addition, 26 customers were taken hostage in 2002, compared with 2 in 2001.
• State Statistics: Twenty-two states, compared to 42 states between 2001 and 2000, show an increase in robberies from 2001 to 2002, with the average increase being 25 percent, compared to 67 percent in 2001. Twenty-nine states show a decrease in robberies, with the average decrease being 25 percent. The state to state comparisons are listed in the chart.
• While overall robbery figures were down, with less than half of the individual states showing increases in robberies, the 2002 FBI Bank Crime Statistics Report indicates a significant and continuing trend of violent robberies with hostage taking and deaths on the rise. Regularly scheduled robbery response training is crucial.
Source: 2002 Bank Crime Statistics Report, as excerpted from USPA Reports, January/February 2004, published by United Security Professionals Association, Laurie Jones, editor. Call USPA at 800-683-8772, www.uspa-inc.com.