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Oklahoma bank robberies seldom go unsolved, FBI says

The number of bank robberies in Oklahoma was down last year. The FBI says there were 23 bank robberies statewide in 2012.
by Robert Medley Published: January 14, 2013

Robbing a bank in Oklahoma isn't a good way to grab quick cash, not if you're planning to get away with it.

FBI agents are just two cases away from solving every bank robbery in Oklahoma in 2012.

“I don't think it's ever happened before that every case was solved,” FBI Special Agent Rick Rains said. “This would be a first.”

FBI agents have solved 91 percent of the 23 bank robberies reported in Oklahoma in 2012.

“The idea of robbing a bank and getting away with it is not a good idea,” Rains said.

“Oklahoma has a high solvability rate, above the national average.”

Elaine Dodd, vice president of the fraud division for the Oklahoma Bankers Association, said reward money offered for tips is a major factor in solving the crimes.

Better surveillance photos and video also help, as well as close relationships with FBI investigators, Dodd said.

The bankers' association pays up to $2,000 for tips that solve bank robberies, she said. Oklahoma banks provide funds for the reward program.

Often callers with tips are family members or friends of the robbers, Dodd said.

“When tips come in from people who know them (robbers), often they are putting their own lives in great danger for calling us,” Dodd said, “and they know where to find the robber when they call.”

The two Oklahoma bank robberies in 2012 that remain unsolved were reported in Elk City and in Tulsa.

On Nov. 1, a white man about 5 feet, 8 inches tall with a medium build robbed the InterBank, 1620 W Third in Elk City. No weapon nor getaway vehicle was reported. The robber, who appeared to be in his mid- to late-20s, wore a black, short-sleeve shirt, blue jeans and a baseball cap with sunglasses. He demanded $100 and $50 bills.

Arvest Bank, 1515 S Utica Ave. in Tulsa, was robbed March 9 by a black man in his early 20s who was between 6 feet and 6 feet, 3 inches tall and weighed 140 to 160 pounds. He had a dark complexion and wore a black Champion baseball cap.

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by Robert Medley
Breaking News Reporter
Robert Medley has been a reporter for The Oklahoman since 1989, covering various news beats in the Oklahoma City metro area and in the Norman news bureau. He has been part of the breaking news team since 2008. A 1987 University of Oklahoma...
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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.

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