Bank Robbers Post Strong Quarter

And it turns out they're morning people, FBI data show.

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As the banking industry wobbled in the face of a debilitating credit crisis, bank robbers reported strong results for the third quarter (July 1 through September 30) of 2007.

The FBI reported 1,578 violations of the Federal Bank Robbery and Incidental Crimes Statute during the period, with thieves walking away with $19,769,819.51 of loot. So far, only $2,209,768.06 has been recovered.

Digging deeper into the numbers, it turns out that bank robbers are morning people—as if you needed another reason to hate them. Incidents occurred most frequently between the hours of 9 to 11 a.m., and Monday and Fridays were the most popular days.

That means 10 a.m. on a Monday would be about the worst time to head to a bank, while, say noon on a Wednesday—when bank robbers are apparently on their lunch break—is about the safest. Saturday and Sunday are, of course, even safer—who works on weekends anyway?

From the FBI report:

Occurrences by Day of Week and Time of Day

Day Occurrences Time of Day Occurrences
Monday 321 6-9 a.m. 47
Tuesday 299 9-11 a.m. 430
Wednesday 235 11 a.m.-1 p.m. 338
Thursday 264 1-3 p.m. 348
Friday 319 3-6 p.m. 363
Saturday 116 6 p.m.-6 a.m. 51
Sunday 17 Not Determined 1
Not Determined 7    
Total 1,578 Total 1,578

During the period, big states like California and Texas led the nation in bank robberies, with 198 and 118, respectively, while wimpy states (sorry about that!) like North Dakota, Delaware, and Montana put up goose eggs. (Come on guys, even Vermont had two.)

Although bank security systems have grown increasingly sophisticated, it appears that bank robbers still prefer the good old-fashioned handgun-and-note approach.

Modus Operandi Used

Demand Note Used 775
Firearm Used 400
Handgun 386
Other Firearm 25
Other Weapon Used 8
Weapon Threatened 597
Explosive Device Used or Threatened 47
Oral Demand 744
Vault or Safe Theft 5
Depository Trap Device 1
Till Theft 21

"Handgun" and "Other Firearm" added together
may not coincide with "Firearm Used" since, in
some cases, both handguns and other firearms are
used during the same crime.

And when it comes to hostage-taking, you're better off being a customer than an employee. (That's good or bad news, depending on your occupation.)

Hostages Taken

Customer 6
Employee 10
Employee Family 1
Law Officer 0
Guard 0
Other 0
Total 17

Number of incidents in
which hostages were taken: 6

The good news is that these incidents rarely result in any deaths, unless, of course, you are the one robbing the bank—in which case your chances of being killed increase dramatically.


Customer 0
Employee 0
Employee Family 0
Perpetrator 3
Law Officer 0
Guard 0
Other 0
Total 3

Number of incidents in
which deaths occurred: 3


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