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FBI says bank robberies don't pay
BEAUMONT - by Lauren Huet
As the old adage goes, "crime doesn't pay." The FBI wants potential bank robbers to know that robbing a bank really does not pay. Special Agent Anne Figueiras with the F.B.I.'s Beaumont Office says the F.B.I. solved nine out of the ten bank robberies in Southeast Texas this year. She expects the last case to be solved soon.
Figueiras says most F.B.I. offices across the country solve 90-percent of bank robberies. However, she says that does not mean that ten percent of bank robbers got away. It usually means the robbers were charged with another crime instead of the bank robbery.
"The other ten percent fall into categories of people who might have been arrested for other crimes and have just not pled guilty to a bank robbery that they committed," said Figueiras. "Or, just sometimes our suspects die. We've had bank robbers here in our town that we've identified, and they died before they were indicted."
Figueiras says bank robbers make a lot of mistakes. One man who robbed the BBVA Compass Bank off of Calder in Beaumont this October, left a trail of cash behind him. His picture was also caught on camera.
"You're going to get caught, and you're going to do a lot of jail time for that very little time you spent in the bank, and the very little money that you got out of it. So, it's not a well thought out crime to commit," said Figueiras.
Surveillance footage, the F.B.I.'s investigative tools, and bank employees also play a role in catching bank robbers.
"[Banks] hold a lot of drills and instruction on what you do when a bank robber comes in, so they've gotten very sophisticated in their prevention of bank robberies," said Figueiras. "So, along with law enforcement and assisting us, that's why bank robbers are caught."
Figueiras says most people rob banks because they need money fast. She says they will be caught.
"And they are prosecuted to the full extent of the law because banks are an institution that everybody uses, everybody goes into, and we do not want people going in and putting other lives in jeopardy and stealing money from a federal institution," said Figueiras.
She hopes less people rob banks next year.
"You walk into a bank and do a 30 second robbery, a one minute robbery, and you're going to do ten years for that one minute, that's not very good," said Figueiras.