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Chicago Area Bank Robberies On The Decline In 2017

CHICAGO (WBBM Newsradio) -- Bank robberies in Chicago and the suburbs dipped in 2017, according to the FBI.

As of Friday morning, there have been 148 bank robberies this year, according to FBI spokesman Garrett Croon, down from more than 190 in 2016.

The numbers have fluctuated over the past decade, with about 140 in 2015 and about 120 in 2014. The record high for bank robberies in the Chicago area was 284 in 2006.

Croon said the typical motive for bank robberies is getting money for drugs, alcohol, or gambling.

"No employee should have to get up in the morning, go to work, and think 'Is today the day that someone will threaten my life?'" he said. "We need the people, the public, to go to the bank robber website,, look at the photographs, look at the description of the bad guys, call us if you recognize them."

The FBI said bank robbers typically don't strike only once.

This week, a man wanted for five bank robberies was arrested.

Croon said the FBI's track record for solving bank robberies is about 75 percent.

"When your rob a bank, you are creating victims. Those are the employees inside the bank, and the customers outside, the public outside, responding law enforcement," he said.

The FBI noted a single conviction for bank robbery carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

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