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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Charter Bank Robbed Repeatedly - Questions?

It sounds so strange that people are shaking their heads in disbelief. The police, bank employees, and the public alike are asking themselves, "How could this happen?" Here is another account of truth that is stranger than fiction. In a nutshell, WSAZ television reports the following:

"Three robberies at one Portsmouth (Ohio) bank are likely related. That word from detectives with the Portsmouth, Ohio Police Department.

"The Charter One Bank on 6th Street was robbed just before 10 Monday morning.

"The same bank was held up on December 11 and on the 22.

"In all three robberies the suspects used the drive-thru window.

"Detectives tell, the same getaway car was used in the robberies, and the description of the two suspects appear to be the same.

"Investigators also say they got some good leads following Monday’s robbery, and are now following up on those leads.

"Dispatchers say in Monday’s robbery the suspects claimed they had a bomb. (The same threat used by the criminals in the other two recent robberies.)

"The men are described to be in their early 20's driving a white Berretta. Police say the vehicle was beat up and had paint missing from the hood and the roof.("Bank Drive-Thru Robbed for Third Time in One Month," WSAZ, December 27 2010)

Now, one surely questions the intelligence of the same robbers using the same vehicle and the same modus operandi successfully to hit the same location within a couple of weeks. It doesn't sound as if these fellows are master criminals by any stretch of the imagination, maybe more like a couple of characters from the Apple Dumpling Gang. And yet the robberies occurred without a hitch. Someone must be doing something right, or are security measures tight enough? Maybe the suggestions that follow could provide some help.

It Might Cost a Little, But...

How about a stolen bill or a stolen money bag implanted with a GPS tracking device? Microchips are so slim that they can be hidden in special packs of currency.  Real time GPS tracking is available. These GPS devices receive information from GPS satellites in space. Once received, the information is transmitted back to a user, who can view the information. Two popular ways the GPS tracking device transmits location information is via a digital cellular network or via satellite.

Why not limit access to drive through stations? Access to bank areas can be limited with keys, entry cards, or other special identification systems. In addition, any special access to contact areas can be overridden by bank employees when they deem entry may be necessary.

Drive-thru window lanes could be electronically gated at the key access. Notification of denial of admittance to cloaked or disguised drivers could accompany close-up camera recording at the gate. In other words, no car would be admitted into the teller window area until drivers were keyed and photographed. Both of these safety devices offer evidence if security fails.

Basic Security

1. Cameras at banks should be highly visible, so potential bank robbers will know that their image will be captured. Also security cameras must be regularly maintained to assure that decent, identifiable images are being captured. What's the use of installing an expensive system that records unrecognizable images?

2. Security personnel could be employed at banks and branch banks. Security, like the cameras, should be highly visible. If possible, banks can hire off-duty police officers or other guards licensed to carry weapons.

3. Facilities can install bullet-proof glass. Protective material should be installed between the cashier's window and the area where customers stand or drive.

4. Banks should post signs stating that they keep little cash on hand and that they have effective security systems.

5. Banks or police can offer rewards for information leading to the capture and arrest of criminals.

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