Bank robberies in the city are up by 54 percent this year, the Police Department said, to 431 as of Monday afternoon, from 280 at this time last year. Robbery statistics over the past 20 years suggest that the robberies may have been fueled in part by the financial desperation that sets in during a recession and the added pressures of the holiday season.


Bank robberies have also increased across the country. Last week, there was a string of four major “take-over style” robberies in one day in San Diego, and major cities, including San Francisco, Houston and Milwaukee, have all seen drastic spikes in bank robberies this year, said Michelle Renee, a former banking industry executive who tracks bank robbery trends.

“It’s well documented that during a recession, bank robberies go up,” she said. “But also, this time of the year is the busiest time for bank robberies. So you combine those two together and it becomes a dangerous time for bank employees.”

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