Police: Drugs and economy leading to more bank robberies

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Posted: Thursday, January 3, 2013 9:48 pm | Updated: 9:03 pm, Mon Feb 4, 2013.

SARASOTA-- Decades after the Dillinger era, people are still robbing banks.

Since the Great Recession more and more bank robberies are happening every year. In 2011, the FBI reported 4500 bank robberies nationwide. In 2012, there were 3 bank robberies in the city of Sarasota and 7 in unincorporated areas of Sarasota County.

"We are seeing a little bit of an increase in that area," said Sarasota Police Chief Bernadette DiPino.

DiPino says that in some cases, the economy is a factor as to why someone would rob a bank.

"They may be down on their luck and need money so they will go to the bank and rob it," she said.

However, DiPino cites another reason for more and more robberies.

"Probably the most significant reason is usually drug addiction. To get the drugs, they go to a bank or place they can get money in order to satisfy that addiction," the Chief said.

Most of the time, nowadays, the bank robber is caught within days of the robbery. In fact, all crooks were apprehended stemming from the robberies that happened in Sarasota and Sarasota County in 2012. DiPino says technology with surveillance cameras, and relationships with bank personnel help law enforcement track down those responsible quicker than ever before.

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