Bank robberies rose by 3.5 percent in 2015, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s recently released Bank Crime Statistics report. Robberies accounted for 98.5 percent of covered thefts from depository institutions. Less frequent crimes against banks, such as burglaries and larcenies, fell by 25 percent and 12.5 percent respectively. Armored car robberies, which are covered in the report along with theft from depository institutions, rose by 115 percent.
Nearly half of the more than 4,000 robberies of depository institutions occurred just after opening, between 9 and 11 a.m., or before closing between 3 and 6 p.m. Ninety-two percent of robberies targeted the teller counter, and 44 percent were reported to have involved a firearm. Common methods included using a note, making an oral threat and brandishing a weapon.
Only 3 percent of the robberies saw physical violence take place, which resulted in 9 deaths, 57 injuries and 56 people taken hostage — 40 of whom were bank employees. The American Bankers Association has offered banks a guide to reducing the risk of bank personnel being kidnapped or taken hostage. ABA also offers ABA Bank Capture, a national data sharing platform created for member banks to report, share and analyze their robbery and other bank crime data in a secure and confidential manner.