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Bank Robbery - A Criminological Study on the Basis of the V. Case

NCJ Number
Archiv fuer kriminologie Volume: 165 Issue: 1 and 2 Dated: (January/February 1980) Pages: 40-56
W Middendorff
Date Published
17 pages
The description of a bank robbery in Freiburg is the point of departure for a discussion of typical bank robberies and types of robbers and victims.
The example portrays the case of a young man who robbed a bank because of personal financial difficulties. Several years after his conviction and release from prison, the robber again undertook a bank robbery as a remedy for professional and personal disappointments. Bank robbery in general has become a particularly common form of crime, although 1978 figures indicate a drop in West German robberies. Because of improved bank security, hostage taking and robberies of money transport have become an increasingly common means of assuring robberies' success. Typical West German bank robbers come from lower class, broken families; they are usually nonviolent and inexperienced in sophisticated crimes planning. Occasionally, professionals and even police officers commit robberies. Weapons are only carried in 34.6 percent of the cases reported and are rarely used. Except for an elite of professional criminals, most bank robbers are shy, dependent individuals trying to prove themselves. On the whole, terrorist bank robbers belong to this group, although they exhibit more determination than most robbers. In the seventies, female bank robbers have become more common than previously, but the percentage of women involved in bank robberies lies below that of women involved in other criminal activities. The usual victims of bank robberies are tellers, other bank personnel, customers, innocent passers-by, and the banks and insurance companies which must absorb losses. Notes are supplied.