The FBI would like to bar banks from doing business with customers who wear hats and sunglasses, reports the Seattle Times. Agent Larry Carr said that most bank robbers cover their heads “with a hat, sunglasses or a hoodie [hooded sweat shirt]” to avoid being identified by surveillance photos. With most bank security cameras positioned in front of and above customers, the disguises are often successful because the cameras capture the bill of a cap or brim of a hat. “Banks can spend billions of dollars on surveillance systems, and it’s meaningless,” he said. There have been 113 bank robberies in Washington state this year, including two on Wednesday by a man who wore a hard hat and safety goggles.
Many banks ask customers to remove hats and sunglasses before approaching tellers, but customers often do not comply or bank employees do not enforce the policy. The Washington Mutual bank chain has started posting signs in its more than 2,200 branches across the U.S. asking customers to remove all “hoodies, helmets and sunglasses.” “This is a brand-new initiative for us,” said a spokesperson.