In reaction to the recent Central Coast bank robberies, Bomar has been approached by several institutions for security guard services. Bomar received and email from a reader who discovered an interview conducted a few years ago and we found it to be interesting. Western Independent Banker Magazine had the opportunity to interview Los Angeles FBI Supervisory Special Agent John H. McEachern III, Bank Robbery, and Special Agent Daniel A. Bodony, LA Bank Robbery Coordinator. Included below are some highlights of the interview.
Q: Is robbery a growing threat to banks?
A: The Los Angeles greater metropolitan area is compromised of seven counties with approximately 19 million people, and between 3,500-4,000 financial institutions. Bank robbery for these institutions is a continuing threat. There were 8,057 bank robberies in Los Angeles during the last 10 years; however, robberies last year in the Los Angeles area were at a 35-year low with 549 robberies. This year’s robbery figures are only slightly less than last. California bank robberies account for approximately 20 percent of all bank robberies committed nationally.
Q: Are there common characteristics or consistent circumstances within the bank that create a higher level of probability of a bank robbery?
A: The number of security measures and devices that are implemented is the largest determining factor. Does the bank have a bandit barrier? What are the quantity, locations, and conditions of cameras, surveillance equipment and security devices? Is there a guard? Certain banks have physical characteristics that seem to make them more attractive to bank robbers. Are there multiple entrances/exits? Is the bank located on one floor or multiple floors? Can the entire bank be seen from the street windows? Is there freeway access, and/or alternate escape routes for vehicles? The population demographics of an area are also a factor.
Q: Do you have specific recommendations or procedures that may reduce the potential risk of robbery?
A: Bandit barriers, armed security guards, and access control units are the main deterrents. Utilization of dye packs and tracking devices is beneficial. The installation of multiple cameras and armed or unarmed guards helps prevent robberies. One camera per teller station is much more effective and a deterrent compared to one old camera up in a corner of the branch.
There are obviously several factors involved when securing a financial institution, we suggest establishing a panel of decision makers to make sure that all aspects are covered and considered. Bomar Security has served the banking industry for numerous years in a variety of locations, if you would like more information about the services we provide, click here.
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