Bank robberies in the seven-county Los Angeles area fell sharply in 2004, says the Los Angeles Times. Since the area record for bank robberies was set in 1992, with 2,641 – an average of one every 42 minutes – the number has steadily decreased to a low of 537 robberies last year, the FBI said. “The number hasn’t been that low since the mid-’60s,” said Laura Eimiller, an FBI spokeswoman. She credited advances in bank security, increased cooperation among law enforcement agencies, and aggressive prosecution of suspects.
Despite the decline, the L.A. area still is the U.S. bank robbery capital. The number of violent “take-over” robberies is a growing concern. Last year, there were 168 take-over robberies, 47 of which involved an assault or robbery of employees or customers.