Charging through the front doors of the bank, two men draw guns and aim them at faces.
One robber covers the customers, ordering them not to move, while the other opens a bag, slaps it on the counter and demands bank employees fill it with cash.
The robbery takes less than a minute, and the men run out the door and get into a waiting stolen car. The driver takes them to a nearby apartment complex where another car awaits them, and the group makes their getaway.
“I don't know what's going on in their minds to make them feel like they are accomplishing something,” FBI spokesman Rick Rains said. “It's high risk, low reward to rob a bank. We nearly always catch you.”
Friday morning at an Oklahoma City home, authorities arrested Michael Deon Lewis, 27, and Jerry Carlton Lewis, 19, on complaints of federal bank robbery. The two are accused of holding up MidFirst Bank, 7500 S Western Avenue. Edna Huff, 21, of Oklahoma City, was arrested on related state charges. A fourth individual at the home also could face charges.
Rains said the FBI believes the group was responsible for five bank robberies since Feb. 13, four of the banks were within a four-mile radius.
Since the beginning of 2013, there have been 20 attempted bank robberies in Oklahoma, 15 in the Oklahoma City metro-area. At a projected rate of one robbery every five days, the state will surpass 2012's bank robbery count of 23 within a few weeks.
Rains said each robbery is different, and he said there doesn't seem to be any consistent reasons why people resort to bank robbery.
In a Jan. 7 heist of a Bank of the West in Norman, Christopher Scott Lowe, 26, was arrested by police after they said he robbed the bank by pretending to have a gun in a brown paper bag and demanding money, according to court records.
Lowe, who is married with three children, was pulled over in his family's minivan just minutes after the robbery. Police said there was a bag full of cash stuffed under the front passenger seat. While in police custody, Lowe made a phone call to his wife to tell her that he had robbed the bank during lunchtime, according to court records.
When Leon Wayne Murrell was arrested Feb. 5 in connection to three bank robberies since Jan. 1, he admitted he had helped in the robberies and told authorities he had been paid in marijuana for his help, according to a probable cause affidavit.
Rains said the FBI doesn't see any correlation between a poor economy and the increasing number of robberies. He said he thinks people just have a poor perception of how much money thieves get from robbing a bank, thinking it's a get-rich-quick avenue.
On average, bank robbers get away with a little more than a $1,000 because of banks' policies that limit how much money is kept in an employee's till.
The punishment for bank robbery can land someone in federal prison from 20 years to life, according to the FBI.
Rains said a disturbing trend is the number of recent robberies in which the suspects had guns out and aimed at people.
“That is sort of unusual,” Rains said. “Usually criminals threaten with a note or something like that. These recent ones have been much more brazen, which is scary because we don't want anyone hurt.”
No one has been injured in a robbery this year but with robberies possibly still on the rise in Oklahoma, banks are taking extra precautions and training employees about how to handle these situations.
Bank of Oklahoma CEO Marc Maun said employee and customer safety is a priority during a robbery, not the money.
“Our goal is to make sure our employees are prepared and our facilities are equipped, and hopefully we can deter the robbery from ever taking place at all,” Maun said.
“One of the simplest is training our employees to greet everyone that comes in the door and to look them in the eye. That simple technique could create a certain amount of anxiety on a would-be robber that would make them think twice,” he said.
Maun said BOK's security team is also up to date with the latest surveillance technology, which helps identify robbers.
In the end, Maun said he knows criminals always will be tempted by the cash within a bank, no matter what deterrents are in place. He said the safest way of dealing with any robber is just to give them what they want.
“The idea is to get them out of the bank as quickly as possible,” he said. “Comply with their demands, send them out the door and hope that's the end of it.”