California Leads Nation in Bank Robberies (Again)

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has released its most recent bank robberies statistics, and California has the dubious honor of leading the pack. Who’s in second, how much is taken and what is the robbers’ favorite time to strike?

Bank robbery statistics 2010

The Bank Crime Statistics report runs from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2010. It tallies the annual number of burglaries, robberies and larcenies in commercial and mutual savings banks, savings and loan associations, credit unions and also armored companies.

The year 2010 saw a total of 5,546 robberies, 74 burglaries and eight larcenies. Of the 5,628 incidents, 91 percent resulted in successful heists with loot valued at $43,016,099.07. Only $8,193,065.41 has been recovered.

The majority of recent bank robberies took place on Fridays. The second favorite day for bank robbers is Tuesday. The least chosen time slot for bank heists is the 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. period. Most raids on financial institutions favored the 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. time frame. With only two bank robbery attempts, North Dakota has the fewest incidents; California – with 805 – leads the nation, followed by Texas (464) and Ohio (263).

How do these figures compare to bank robbery statistics 2009 and 2008?

In 2009 there were 5,943 bank robberies, 100 burglaries and 19 larcenies. Ninety-one percent of the 6,062 incidents were successful, with a total loot value of $45,978,048.97 taken. Only $8,015,546.46 was ever recovered. Friday and Monday were the premier days for bank robberies, with the 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. time slot being once again the most popular one. California once again led the nation with 710 robberies, followed by Texas with 484 and Georgia with 257.

The 2008 report reveals that bank robberies were high with 6,700 incidents, followed by 121 burglaries and 28 larcenies. Loot taken was $61,914,663.31; recovered funds were $8,940,477.28. Friday was the primary day for bank robberies, while Monday was a distant second. Once again the 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. was the primary time slot; 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. came in second. Again it was California in the lead with 912 bank robberies, followed by New York with 499 and Texas with 481.

Why do bank robbery statistics show a decline in this crime?

The Orange County Register credits an increase in bank security procedures and personnel with a lessening of the incidents. Another reason why armed bank robbery may no longer be an attractive get-rich-quick scheme may be the use of DNA for solving crimes. Add to this the increase in solved bank heists resulting in arrests, and its stands to reason that this crime is losing its lure.

Forbes sees the reason for declining bank robberies in the Wal-Mart-style greeter approach. Greeting incoming clients with a look in the eyes makes many a crook feel a mite uncomfortable. Of course, not even the biggest smile and most prolonged eye contact will deter a determined bank robber with a ski mask and gun.


Federal Bureau of Investigations: “Bank Crime Statistics 2010”
Federal Bureau of Investigations: “Bank Crime Statistics 2009”
Federal Bureau of Investigations: “Bank Crime Statistics 2008”
Orange County Register: “O.C. bank robberies at record low levels”
Forbes: “How to Reduce Bank Robberies”