The number of Oklahoma bank robberies was down significantly last year.
Only 23 bank robberies were reported, down from 66 bank robberies in Oklahoma in 2011 and 44 in 2010, Rains said.
“We're thankful bank robberies were down this year, but we know it is cyclical and the numbers can pop back up,” Rains said.
Oklahoma FBI statistics from the past decade show the highest number in one year was 95 banks robberies in 2003, with an average of 54 per year, he said.
Rains said bank robbery numbers fluctuate from year to year with no specific patterns, but the high solvability rate may be a deterrent to robbers in Oklahoma.
Nationwide, there also was a decrease in bank robberies in 2012. FBI numbers show 3,758 cases in the United States, compared with 5,135 in 2011.
So far in 2013, only one bank robbery has been reported in Oklahoma — in Norman — and a suspect arrested, Rains said. He credits local police with helping catch bank robbers in the metro area.
Motives for the robberies vary, and it is hard to say the economy, location of banks or other factors make a difference in the numbers, he said.
Rains said people should remain calm in a bank robbery situation and let law officers catch the robbers. Customers and tellers should not put themselves in dangerous situations.
“Our advice to citizens who are in a bank that is being robbed is primarily to comply, comply with any instructions that are given,” Rains said. “Don't try to take any actions on your own.”
He said people should be observant and notice clothing or physical descriptions or license plate numbers in a bank robbery.
“Don't do anything that would put your self at risk,” Rains said.
How to help
Anyone with information about a bank robbery can call the FBI's Oklahoma City office at 290-7770. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for cash rewards.