Bank robberies are down from a recent peak, but the Federal Bureau of Investigation still creating Web sites to elist the public’s help, says the New York Times. BanditTracker NorthEast features images of robbers in New Jersey and New York culled from security cameras over the past few years. In the past, it took FBI agents a few days to prepare posters on suspects. With that lag, information was sometimes not mentioned on a local newscast because the story was deemed old. Now, because images can be posted online within hours of the crime, possibly even from a bank that is robbed, agents might be able to arrest robbers making their getaways.
Spectrum Management, a technology company based in Texas, created the site. It is providing the service free to the FBI. The company set up the first BanditTracker in Dallas in 2007, and followed it with similar versions in Little Rock; Indianapolis; Chicago; and Atlanta. The New York-based effort comes despite a sharp decline in bank robberies in the region. In 2009, there were 222 robberies in New York City, compared with 444 in 2008 (the highest in a decade) and 283 in 2007. In New Jersey, there were 190 robberies in 2009, 202 in 2008 and 162 in 2007.