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Violent acts infrequent in CU robberies
WASHINGTON (7/8/09)--The run-of-the-mill robbery in financial institutions last year did not involve acts of violence, according to crime statistics released Monday by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Acts of violence were committed in 293 reported incidents--roughly 4% of the 6,849 total robberies, burglaries and larcenies that credit unions and other financial institutions experienced last year. The violent acts included 78 instances involving the discharge of firearms, 171 instances with assaults, and 52 hostage situations. More than one act of violence occurred in some incidents, the FBI said. The violence resulted in 123 injuries in 99 incidents; 21 deaths in 20 incidents; and 105 persons taken hostage in 52 situations. Of those injured, employees took the brunt--60 employees of credit unions or banks were hurt during the year. That compares with injuries to 19 member/customers, 14 robbery perpetrators, and 13 guards. Seven law officers and two "other" individuals also were injured. Robbers overwhelmingly were the group most likely to die in a robbery, burglary or larceny situation. Last year, of the 21 deaths that occurred, 17 were the robbers, one was an employee, and three were "other" people. Of the 105 hostages taken during the year, 80 were credit union or bank employees and 13 were customers or members. Three guards and two "other" individuals also ended up in hostage situations. Hostage incidents were the only category that involved employees' family. Seven family members of financial institution employees were taken hostage during the year. What mode of operation did the suspects use during the incidents? Demand notes, oral demands, and threatening the use of a weapon were what most culprits chose. That was followed closely by the actual use of a weapon, be it a firearm, other weapon (including knives, cutting instruments, hypodermic needles and clubs) or explosive device. The actual breakdown for modus operandi used is:
* Demand note used, 3,833 robberies; * Firearm used, 1,734; * Handgun, 1,656; * Other firearm, 120; * Other weapon used, 100; * Weapon threatened, 2,839; * Explosive device used or threatened, 174; * Oral demand, 3,683; * Vault or safe theft, 47; * Depository trap device, 3; and * Till theft, 95.
The statistics are as of April 23. Not all financial institution crimes are reported to the FBI, so this is not a complete statistical compilation of all bank crimes in the U.S., the FBI said.
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