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Summary and Interpretation of Bank Crime Statistics, 2001

NCJ Number
Rosemary J. Erickson Ph.D.; Kristi M. Balzer B.A.
Date Published
February 2003
7 pages
Federal Bureau of Investigation data and information on bank crime for 2001 encompasses the number of bank robberies, offender characteristics, days of the week and time of day of bank crimes, security devices maintained by victim institutions, criminal methods used, and injuries and deaths sustained from the crimes.
There were 8,496 bank robberies in 2001, a 19-percent increase from the previous year. Commercial banks, savings and loan associations, credit unions, armored car carriers, and mutual savings banks all experienced increases. Ninety-five percent of the perpetrators were male, compared to 94 percent the previous year. Blacks committed bank crimes more often than any other race. The gender and racial characteristics of offenders did not essentially change from 2000 to 2001. Bank robberies, burglaries, and larcenies occurred more often on Friday than any other day of the week. This was the case in 1999 and 2000 as well. Bank crimes occurred most often between 9:00 am and 11:00 am, as was the case the previous year. Institutions victimized during 2001 had security devices in place at the time of the incident. Ninety-eight percent of the victim institutions had cameras and alarms, and 88 percent had "bait money." Branch offices were targeted by offenders far more often than main offices; and the most popular method of committing a bank crime was a verbal demand followed in frequency by a demand note. Weapons were threatened almost half the time; firearms were used in 28 percent of the incidents. Although the bank robberies increased from the previous year, injuries from the crimes were fewer, down by 4 percent from the previous year. Injuries to law enforcement personnel showed the largest reduction at 52 percent. Injuries to bank employees increased by 14 percent from the previous year. There were 14 deaths, with 9 being perpetrators; this was a decrease from the previous year, during which 19 of 23 deaths were perpetrators. 8 tables