Inside the mind of a bank robber - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Inside the mind of a bank robber

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TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Local law enforcement is surprised at the rash of recent bank robberies: four in a week. Some police officers say they've never seen this many in such a short period of time. So how does a bank robber think?

We got the opinion of Barbara Hart, an associate professor of criminal justice at the University of Texas at Tyler.

Hart says a robber is not anyone special, they just want the money. Banks are where the money is, and money is everywhere.

“You can look across Tyler and see the proliferation of branch banking that has spread throughout, and of course it makes it easier for customers, but it makes it easier for robberies as well. It's the convenience factor,” Hart said.

Banks typically don't have more than a few thousand dollars in their drawers.

“But it doesn't take a lot to mean a lot to a bank robber, so a few thousand dollars is an enormous take for the average robber, so it's very enticing,” Hart offered.

She also says many robbers have rarely worked, so any paychecks they have earned honestly are pretty small amounts. The fact that if you've seen one bank lobby you've seen them all, may help the robber.

“That's for customer comfort, but that also helps the robber too, because he knows how the bank is going to be laid out as well, so it makes it easier,” Hart revealed.

She also says tellers are trained to cooperate.

“Okay, here's the money because they don't want to escalate. That's good for customer safety and teller safety, but it certainly makes it easier,” Hart stated.

Barbara says it is low risk during the robbery.

“The risk comes later when they are being pursued or tracked down,” Hart said.

The professor also points out that most bank robbers are eventually caught.

Professor Hart says bank robbers typically aren't long-term thinkers so they may not realize that robbing a bank is a federal crime with consequences involving serious jail time.

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