Some Houston banks are now asking customers to remove their hoodies, sunglasses, ball caps, and even cowboy hats, reports the Houston Chronicle. Law enforcement believes the practice would deter camera-shy robbers, who often use clothing and accessories as disguises. With the number of robberies now heading toward a 10-year high locally, more banks are posting signs at entrances and stuffing notices in envelopes that ask customers to doff hats and sunglasses.
The Texas Bankers Association said so many Texans wear ball caps or cowboy hats that the idea has not been eagerly embraced by banks statewide. Local bankers say they don't want to anger customers. With the rising number of bank robberies, however, it may be time to reconsider the dress code, said Olivia Solis, the bankers association's spokeswoman. The FBI has counted 44 bank robberies in Houston’s Harris County so far this year. That's nearly 50 percent more than last year for the same period.