Bank Robberies Double from Last Year

By Max Resnik

November 2, 2012 Updated Nov 2, 2012 at 5:33 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) – In 2012, the Fort Wayne Police Department has responded to 11 bank robberies, which is more than double the number of bank robberies committed in 2011.

In 2011, five bank robberies were committed at banks or credit unions. Two of those robberies resulted in arrests.

Three of this year’s 11 robberies have been solved. Five of the 11 have occurred since August.

Bank Robberies by the numbers:

2009: Two robberies with two arrests made
2010: One robbery with one arrest made
2011: Five robberies with two arrests made
2012: 11 robberies with three arrests made

Raquel Foster, public information officer with FWPD, says the criminals behind the bank robberies are not random individuals wanting to knock off banks. Instead, they are career criminals, who based on 2012’s success rate, and quickly improving their craft. Foster says they are motivated by greed.

“The motivating factor for bank robberies is greed. It’s not in any way desperation. These are not individuals that are trying to put food on the table, trying to pay their electric bill, paying their property taxes. These are career criminals. That is what they do. That is all that they know how to do.”

Financial institution robberies were committed on consecutive days in late October with seemingly identical tactics. The first, occurring October 25 at the MidWest America Federal Credit Union on Swinney Avenue, involved two men wearing dark hooded sweatshirts, gloves and masks and involved handguns. In that robbery, they cornered credit union employees as they opened that morning around 8:00. One robber escorted an employee to the vault by handgun where the he made off with a tray of cash.

About 24 hours later, the same scenario occurred at the Chase Bank on Lower Huntington Road. In that robbery, a male employee was pistol-whipped and sustained minor injuries, according to police.

“Your perpetrators are successful. The reward for them is much more greater than the risk. And that is why you will see these repeat incidents. We’ll see one, two bank robberies and then, in a couple of months, you’ll see another couple,” she says.

Following the credit union robbery, footage was released, and a $13,000 reward was announced for information that leads to an arrest.

“We need to get information. We need to get information that leads to an arrest so that these criminals do not continue to victimize other institutions,” Foster says.

Without mentioning specifics police procedures into the thwarting of these kinds of robberies, Foster says patrolmen are cognizant of the banks and credit unions in their areas.

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