Generally speaking, robbery is the taking of anything of value from another party by threatened or real force. Bank robbery accounts for fewer than three percent of all robberies in the United States, though the possibility of this crime occurring instills fear in many. The Uniform Crime Reporting Program considers bank robbery both a property crime and a violent crime. Bank robbery can occur in any financial institution. While the ultimate victim of bank robbery is the bank, the tellers and other employees who are injured or threatened are also victimized.
According to statistics gathered in 2001, a bank robbery occurs every fifty minutes in the United States. Approximately $70 million is lost in bank robberies in the United States annually. Between 1996 and 2000, the average amount of money taken during a bank robbery is approximately $5,000.
Bank robbery is typically carried out by a single individual who demands money from a teller while brandishing a firearm. A bank robber can either ask for the money verbally or pass a note to the bank employee alerting them of the bank robbery. A takeover bank robbery, one of the most dangerous types, involves several armed criminals threatening the lives of all those present during the course of their heist.
Bank robberies have a low success rate. According to the Uniform Crime Reporting Program, 58 percent of all those who commit bank robbery are arrested. Increased bank security measures, such as surveillance cameras, guards, silent alarms, special police units (like the SWAT team), and other measures have made successful bank robberies rare. While some bank robberies are successful, there is a high chance the offender will be arrested and prosecuted. The more often an offender commits bank robbery, the more likely it is that s/he will be caught.
Because bank robberies have a relatively low success rate, many organized criminals steal money by other means. White collar crimes, such as identity theft, drug trafficking, and internet crimes, are becoming an increasingly common way to unlawfully acquire money at the expense of another party.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a bank robbery, please contact us to speak with a qualified and experienced criminal attorney in your area.
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