Bank robberies hitting an all time low?

RALEIGH The new statistics were released Monday by the North Carolina Banker's Association amid questions about why banks aren't taking more action to reduce robberies.

Raleigh Police Chief Harry Dolan pointed out at the North Carolina Banker's Association news conference that overall armed robberies are down this year in Raleigh.

Authorities say they would have seen a dramatic drop in bank robberies like the rest of the state saw if it wasn't for three men --including the Repeat Robber.

"We have seen an increase in bank robberies," Dolan said. "That increase is directly correlated with some serial bank robbers."

Lee Pope was eventually caught and charged with hitting up at least 11 banks across the Triangle within a month period including five in Raleigh.

While serial bank robbers probably don't worry about statistics, they can be stopped.

ABC11 Eyewitness News visited California banks in 2002 where they've taken steps to make hold-ups almost impossible.

So could North Carolina make banks fortresses?

"Perhaps you could, but I'm not sure that's what the public those that need financial services products want," said Ed Aycock with NC Bankers Association.

What some bank customers want, is a place where they have no chance of rubbing elbows with a robber and what law enforcement seems to want is to not have to spend time solving crimes that may be preventable in the first place.

"We have to weigh the safety of the public and some of this technology and I think you raise a good point," Dolan said. "We have to look at some of this technology. If it's going to prevent the armed robbery from occurring we have to explore it."

The chief went on to say that he is sure banks are looking at the latest technology to prevent robberies, but whether they shell out the money for that technology remains to be seen.

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