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Database to track bank robberies

By Marcie Geffner ·
Friday, September 30, 2011
Posted: 12 pm ET

Bank robbers, beware.

The American Bankers Association, or ABA, a trade group in Washington, D.C., has introduced an online service to help banks track robberies, burglaries and ATM crimes in real time, regardless of the location.

The service, called ABA Bank Capture, as in: "Banks, help us capture more crooks," will also help banks research crime statistics and improve communication with federal law enforcement.

According to the website, the service is designed to allow banks to:

  • React quickly to crimes that have occurred.
  • Prepare for and prevent crimes by monitoring bank locations.
  • Track crimes regardless of the location or jurisdiction.
  • Benchmark crime rates against industry statistics.
  • Enhance security and loss-prevention strategies.
  • Allocate budgets and other resources to prevent losses.
  • Train bank personnel to prevent and respond to crimes.
  • Prevent injuries and save lives in the event of an incident.
  • Protect the bank's profitability.
  • Reduce the bank's liability.
  • Protect the bank's brand image.

The database won't be open to the public and, as with any user-generated data service, its usefulness apparently will depend on the quantity and quality of data participants enter into it.

The service is integrated with the FBI Bank Robbery Intelligence Center, so details of robberies can be communicated as soon as the incidents occur, according to an ABA statement. The ABA is "actively exploring" access for state and local law enforcement agencies.

Larry Brown, chairman of the ABA Bank Security Committee and senior vice president of risk management at First Citizens Bank in Raleigh, N.C., said in a statement that ABA Bank Capture will be "an invaluable tool" for banks and law enforcement to detect and deter bank crimes.

Annual subscriptions to the service range from $500 for a bank that has fewer than 50 branches to $3,000 for banks that have more than 1,000 branches. Banks will also pay a one-time set-up fee of the same amount.

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