Law enforcement and bankers work together to address spike in bank robberies

Published 02/25 2014 12:37PM

Updated 02/25 2014 05:20PM


SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (ABC 4 UTAH) - Bank robberies are on the rise in our state. Last week alone, six different robberies were committed in just four days. 

So to help this alarming increase law enforcement and bankers held a Bank Safety Summit Tuesday at the Public Safety building in downtown Salt Lake. According to Salt Lake Police Chief Chris Burbank since the New Year there have been 22 different bank robberies in Salt Lake and 70 committed last year.

Law enforcement says they don't know why there has been a sudden increase, but they do say these criminals tend to think they will never get caught. "We have increased the number of officers as far as Salt Lake City and are detectives who are actually working robberies in town as well as coordinating with the FBI,” said Chief Burbank.

Last Wednesday three banks in Salt Lake were hit up. Then on Thursday a Key Bank on Highland drive was also robbed, followed by a Zions Bank at 910 West and 2100 south on Friday and most recently, Saturday, another Zions Bank on Highland Drive.

FBI Special Agent Adam Quirk says there is no specific profile on a bank robbery suspect, but they know people commit these crimes for three main reasons. "Financial institutions are abundant and easy to access suspects are often addicted to drugs such as heroin methamphetamine or prescription narcotics and because they think they will get away with it,” said agent Quirk.

Still, the question remains as to why it's become such a problem in Salt Lake County in the last year. "What are the banking practices, what are the vulnerabilities that come with the banking practices, how are local law enforcement officers responding to this and how are we communicating and coordinating with the FBI,” said Chief Burbank.

 ABC 4 Utah is also told by law enforcement that bank robberies are a recurring trend and these criminals don't tend to stay in the same area.

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