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SANTA MONICA : Bank Robberies Down 50% in 2 Years, FBI Reports

The number of bank robberies in Southern California has decreased 50% in the past two years, but the region remains the nation’s bank robbery capital, the FBI said.

About 1,300 bank robberies are expected to be committed in the seven-county Los Angeles region this year, down from 2,641 in 1992, said Charlie Parsons, FBI special agent in charge of the agency’s Los Angeles office. By comparison, New York had about 400 robberies in 1992 and Chicago recorded 98.

The statistics were announced at an FBI conference on bank crimes and financial industry fraud.

Two years ago, the FBI assigned more agents to investigate bank robbery cases and targeted violent criminals, Parsons said. Many of the financial institutions took their own action, including the installation of sophisticated video cameras to identify criminals, he said.

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Although bank robberies are decreasing, some forms of fraud are on the rise, such as check fraud and mortgage fraud, in which loan applicants submit false financial data to secure credit.

The Los Angeles FBI office has 1,200 financial institution fraud cases pending that represent $4 billion in losses.


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