WASHINGTON (1/12/11)—A total of 91 financial crimes, or 6.9% of the total of 1325 robberies and incidental crimes reported at financial institutions during the third quarter of 2009, took place at credit unions, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has reported. This percentage is slightly below the 7% total reported during the previous quarter, when a total of 85 financial crimes were committed at credit unions. Credit unions were victimized 490 times in 2009, representing 8% of the total number of financial institution robberies. Credit Union National Association (CUNA) figures show that at the end of 2009 credit unions operated a total of 21,336 “outlets,” that is main offices and branch offices, while banks and thrift institutions operated 121,574 outlets; credit unions therefore operated 17.5% of total depository institution outlets. CUNA’s Mike Schenk said that the relatively low crime numbers, as compared to the higher outlet percentage number, makes sense. “We have no hard data on branch accessibility. But we do know that credit union branches are less likely than bank branches to be accessible to the general public because many credit union branches are located inside sponsor organizations. “Because we don’t have data on the specific characteristics of branches it is difficult to say if the 7% “share” of crimes is consistent with the share of accessible outlets but it is certainly not surprising that credit unions account for nearly 18% of outlets but only 7% of crimes,” Schenk said. More details from the FBI report showed commercial banks were hit by 1,195 instances of crimes. Credit unions were second highest with 91 instances, followed by savings and loan associations with 25 robberies, then mutual savings banks, with 13. Just over $9 million in funds were taken during these robberies, and nearly $1.4 million of those funds were eventually recovered. Loot was taken in 90% of the incidents, the FBI said. The majority of the robberies were committed by men, and the largest number of robberies, 482, took place in the southern United States. The most popular day for crimes was Friday, and the most popular time period for them was 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Nearly all of the financial institutions involved had alarm systems and security cameras, but a mere 72 of them had on-site guards. Some of the top methods used in the crimes were:
* Demand note used--726; * Firearm used--333; * Weapon threatened--568; and * Explosive device used or threatened--30.
Violent acts were committed during 54 of the robberies, resulting in 21 injuries. One perpetrator was injured and three perpetrators died during the robberies. Of the 9 incidents in which hostages were taken, 7 of the hostages were employees and 2 were members/customers. The FBI reported no instances of bank extortion violations at credit unions. However, there were six of these violations at banks. For the full FBI release, use the resource link.