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Bank robberies up as economy flounders

January 10, 2009 |  8:56 am

Another sign of the bad economic times. Bank robberies, which had been declining for years, rose in 2008 in Southern California, according to the O.C. Register. Across the region, the increase was 22% compared to 2007:

After a 30-year low of bank robberies in 2007, bank heists climbed steeply across Southern California in 2008, statistics show. In Orange County alone, there were 145 bank robberies –- an increase of 41 percent compared to the previous year. While some in law enforcement credit the increase to a low number of robberies in 2007, others see a direct correlation between the sudden rise in heists and a tanking economy. As reports of teetering banks and bailout packages dominated the news, law enforcement agencies reported more than 400 bank robberies across Southern California, committed by robbers who were dubbed memorable names like "big banana," "wing-ding," "empty pockets," "village people," "assistant coach," "boomerang" and "WWF shotgun" bandits.

--Shelby Grad