Former prosecutor weighs in on bank robberies


FORT MYERS, Fla. – There have been five bank robberies in Lee County so far in the month of September, which leaves many experts wondering why there’s suddenly a trend.

“I find it interesting just because it’s possibly one of the dumbest crimes you could possibly commit,” Nicole Waid, a former federal prosecutor, said.

Waid says she can’t imagine why criminals keep doing it, especially with the advances in technology.

“Just a couple years ago they were putting grainy pictures, now with digital surveillance footage, you can see people. You can see their faces, you can see distinctive marks that they may have on their body, they’re so much easier to recognize,” Waid said.

According to FBI statistics, there were nearly 4,000 bank robberies in 2014. More than half of those led to the suspect being identified, whether that be because of surveillance footage or other evidence left behind. As Waid puts it, it’s hard to leave without a trace.

“Whether it be fingerprints, often times they jump up on something–shoe prints. Something is going to be left at the bank; voice recognition,” Waid explained.

Waid says bank robberies only make up about two percent of robberies nationwide. Bank tellers are now being trained on how to react to the situation, which ultimately helps law enforcement catch the bad guy that much sooner.

“It leads you to wonder what is happening and it’s got to be some trend. There’s got to be a reason that people are still thinking that this is a good idea. Apparently they’re not at home looking at the arrest and conviction rates like we are.”

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