TV6 Investigates: Bank robbery statistics in the Quad Cities

Published: Mar. 25, 2022 at 10:50 AM CDT
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - On February 2, around 10 a.m. the Family Credit Union on Rockingham Road in Davenport had only been open for an hour when it was robbed by 25-year-old Rayontrez Brown, according to the Davenport Police Department.

It was the second Family Credit Union that he robbed within two weeks.

The criminal complaint states that Brown went behind the counter both times and demanded the teller give him money from the till. No documents mention him using a weapon.

Since the beginning of the year, three banks have been robbed in Davenport. That’s the same number of banks that were robbed in the city during all of 2021, and we’re just in month 3.

FBI statistics show that bank robberies have decreased immensely since the 1970′s due to higher-tech security, increasing the likelihood of the robber getting caught. However, as antiquated and risky as bank robberies are, they still happen, with the Quad Cities typically seeing five robberies in a year for the last five years.

Image: Bank robberies that have taken place in the Quad Cities Area in the past five years.

Bank robberies that have taken place in the Quad Cities metropolitan since 2018.
Bank robberies that have taken place in the Quad Cities metropolitan since 2018.(KWQC)

The pandemic-ridden year 2020 is the only exception.

Reports of the crimes that occurred in the area show each robber leaving with an undisclosed amount of cash.

“You can train, envision, do all those things that’d help you prepare for that type of situation, but when that potential or alleged robber passes a note or says ‘hey’ or indicates they may have a weapon, it’s just terrifying,” said Jason Norton, the Senior Vice President of DuTrac Credit Union.

Their Davenport branch was robbed in 2018.

TV6 Investigates asked Norton if he know whether a bank robber scopes out the scene beforehand. “Most likely,” he responded, “[it’s] what we call “casing.” Looking over what the building looks like, how it’s laid out, they’ll look for evacuation routes [and] ways to escape should law enforcement appear, security measures, cameras [and] sensors; they look at all those things.”

About ten years ago Arizona State University took an in-depth look into the trends behind bank robberies, the study stating only 10 percent of the crimes fail to get cash from tellers.

The study concluded that the lure of a robbery is the simplicity of the crime. For example, if you picture the inside of a bank it is a predictable scene. There is a large, open room with the teller desks sitting towards the back. It is easy to navigate.

On top of the layout, bank tellers are taught to comply with a robbery no matter what.

Leading to a crime that takes less time than ordering a Happy Meal, like what happened to the US Bank in Bettendorf on Middle Road in 2019.

In surveillance footage that TV6 Investigates obtained from the Bettendorf Police Department, the suspect calmly walks into the bank at 9:59 a.m.

He walks around two people at the counter and demands cash from the teller. The criminal complaint says that he showed a weapon, which is visible in the video.

The teller complied with the robber’s demands, giving him the cash within 26 seconds after he first walked in.

The suspect walked out at 10:00 a.m., a little less than one minute after he came in. Police arrived seven minutes later.

Almost as quickly as a bank can be robber, however, the suspect can be arrested.

According to FBI statistics, 60 percent of all bank robberies get solved. A quarter of those are solved within the same day.

Which is what happened at the US bank robbery in 2019. Police arrested half-brothers Christopher Schultz, 25, and Benjamin Watkins, 44, within hours after the evens on First Degree Robbery charges.

Beefed-up security measures, such as tiny devices, secret alarms and other sources that are not disclosed to the public are used to help apprehend a suspect after the robbery takes place so that staff don’t have to risk their safety during the event.

“You should always believe they have something,” said Norton, “we have to operate with the belief they may harm someone.”

The robber, as in the case with Watkins and Schultz in 2019, perhaps not having as clean a getaway as they’d thought.

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