If it seems like you’re always hearing about another bank robbery in the Houston area, you’re not imagining things. The FBI’s Shauna Dunlap says 2012 has been a busy year so far for bank heists.
“We have responded to about 72 bank robberies to date, which when you compare that to 2011, we were only in about the 30’s in 2011 and in 2010 during this time period, which 2010 was one of our higher years, we had still only responded to about 58 or so, so we’re definitely responding to a lot more bank robberies this year.”
Dunlap says the FBI is seeing more serial bank robbers who knock-off a number of banks before they’re caught. Just this week, the same man robbed two banks within 40 minutes in southwest Houston. She says although banks might look like easy targets, that’s not really the case.
“Most of these banks do have a lot of security procedures in place and I can tell you that we typically have a pretty high success rate on solving them. It may take us a little while to catch up with them but eventually we typically get them in our custody. And it is a federal felony, so if someone is thinking this looks easy and I might not get caught, that’s really not true.”
The FBI has a Bank Robbery Task Force in Houston that only investigates bank hold-ups. Dunlap says because Houston has so many banks, crooks have many potential targets to choose from.