With five bank robberies in less than three months, the Santa Clarita Valley could very well be Bank Robbery Capital of the Country.
The latest FBI statistics break down the frequency of bank robberies occurring in each state, however, the bureau does not break the numbers down by city or community.
If they did, Santa Clarita would be counted.
Robbing a bank became a federal crime in 1934 – and, therefore, investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
FBI agents have become a regular fixture in the SCV since June, working with detectives of the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department’s Major Crimes Division, as they have been busy investigating the robbery of five local financial institutions.
Since June 12, the bank robber nicknamed the PT Cruiser Bandit has hit five Santa Clarita banks and credit unions: Wells Fargo (June 12), Chase Bank (June 27), Logix (July 25), California credit Union (August 10) and Wescom Credit Union (Aug. 21).
If the pattern repeats itself, the next financial institution to be robbed might be a credit union in the SCV on Tuesday Sept. 12.
And, the FBI pays attention to patterns.
In the latest Bank Crime Statistics compiled for 2016 by the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice, agents compare the number of commercial banks robbed to the number of robberies at credit unions.
While 3,733 banks were robbed in the U.S. last year, along with 343 credit unions making for a total of 4,076 robberies in the country last year.
That makes for an average of five banks or credit unions robbed per city last year, according to U.S. Census Bureau data which records there are 19,354 “incorporated places” in the country.
The number of bank robberies in 2016 by race and sex reveal that most, by far, are males, either black or white.
Based on these stats, the PT Cruiser – suspected in all five of the banks hit in the Santa Clarita – represents the profile of the most common robberies – a lone white male in his 50s.
All but one of the financial institutions robbed since June have occurred within the same “closing time” period of between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m.
Interestingly, the PT Cruiser Bandit goes against grain for the most common time of day to rob a bank.
FBI stats for 2016 reveal that the most popular time of day to rob a bank is between 9 and 11 a.m., noting that 1,004 out of 4,251 bank robberies across the country happened during that time. The second most popular bank robbing time last year was over the lunch hour 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. when 961 banks were hit.
Closing time – 3 to 6 p.m. which is the time frame of each of the SCV 2017 robberies – was the third most popular to time rob a bank, based on 2016 statistics, when 923 robberies happened.
Favored day of week
As for the day of the week, Friday was the preferred day for bank robbers last year, when 913 out of 4,251 banks were robbed.
If the five SCV financial institutions robbed since June were the work of the same robber, then he’s held up banks twice on a Monday, twice on a Tuesday and once on a Thursday – but never on a Friday.
The FBI reported 728 banks robbed on Monday in 2016; 741 on Tuesday and 699 on Thursday.
In looking at the number of bank robberies occurring in each state, California outpaced all other states for the number of financial institutions hit with 462 robbers last year – better than one bank robbery every day in the state.
New York and Texas had fewer bank robberies than California last years with 371 and 301 banks hit in those states respectively.
SCV ROBBERIES SUMMARY
Banks and credit unions believed to have been robbed by the PT Cruiser Bandit since June include:
– Monday June 12: Shortly before 3 p.m., a lone male walked into the bank branch of Wells Fargo near the intersection of Lyons Avenue and Wiley Canyon Road. He gave a note to a teller demanding money and indicating he had a gun, although no gun was seen.
– Tuesday June 27: A couple of minutes before 5 p.m., a lone male walked into the Chase Bank branch on Lyons Avenue at Apple Street. He gave a note to a teller demanding money and indicating he had a gun, although no gun was seen.
– Tuesday July 25: About 5:15 p.m., a lone male entered the Logix Valencia Promenade bank branch on McBean Parkway near Magic Mountain Parkway. He gave a note to a teller demanding money and indicating he had a gun, although no gun was seen.
– Thursday Aug. 10: A couple of minutes after 5 p.m., a lone male walked into the California Credit Union on Magic Mountain Parkway. He gave a note to a teller demanding money and indicating he had a gun, although no gun was seen.
– Monday Aug. 21: A few minutes before 6 p.m. a lone male walked into the Wescom Credit Union on Pico Canyon Road at The Old Road in Stevenson Ranch. He gave a note to a teller demanding money and indicating he had a gun, although no gun was seen.
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