Crime Tracker: 2013 Bank Robberies
WSIL-- Most banks are outfitted with the latest surveillance systems and workers are trained on how to handle hold ups. Some suspects are still able to thwart the safety measures and get away with the crime.
The FBI hasn't formally released the data on bank robberies for 2013, but officials say overall reports are on the decline. While several arrests were made in holdups in our region, police still need help to find some of the suspects.
Marion police say on average, they respond to three or four bank robberies each year. The latest was in early December at Banterra on Carbon St.
"All your crime's gonna go up a little bit especially around the holidays," Assistant Police Chief Daniel Byrne said.
The crime was caught on surveillance video. The pictures show the crook leaping over the bank counter with a handgun.
"In my opinion he thought it out a lot better than a lot of them do," admitted Byrne.
It's stumped authorities. They've followed leads, but still don't have a good description of the suspect.
"We need to get this solved as quickly as possible before it happens again," he said.
Byrne said some leads can take months to follow. A holdup in Harrisburg was the exception to that last October.
"We don't think we've ever had a bank robbery before," explained Police Chief Bob Smith.
Smith said the crime was solved in eight hours thanks to a tip that broke the case wide open.
"A neighbor called in that saw a vehicle in a certain area, called in and it ended up being the lead that solved the entire thing," he explained, "It's just good hard nose follow up by law enforcement people that they do every day, that goes unnoticed."
It led them to Casey Heflin, who police say robbed the bank of $4,000. His accomplice Shawn Gregory was also arrested.
"When they're brazen enough and desperate enough to use a weapon and walk into a bank when they know theres probably surveillance there, then they're definitely a danger to anybody," added Smith.
Both departments agree that anyone who comes face to face with these robbers should give them what they want.
"Bravery has its place. When somebody's holding a gun to your face, it's not the time to show bravery," said Smith.
Also, be a good witness and remember as many details as you can.
"Give them the money, get the best description you can, get a direction of travel and let the police do their job," Smith advised.
Marion police say the suspect they're looking for covered most of his body, so it's hard to even tell his race. They hope more tips will lead them to their man. If you know anything about the robbery, police want to hear from you.
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