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FBI doubling down on catching bank robbers

Posted at 5:55 PM, May 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-16 18:56:10-04

The Federal Bureau of Investigation teams up with local police agencies to create a new task force aimed at catching and preventing bank robberies.

This comes after what the agency says is a disturbing new trend targeting smaller towns surrounding Omaha and the robbers are becoming more brazen.

FBI special agent in charge Randall Thysse said so far in 2017 there have been 12 robberies, 10 involving a gun and eight of them have similar characteristics, “This one in particular concerns me because the violent nature of how they are coming into the bank displaying guns, seeking to get into the vault.”

One of the robberies happed in Arlington on May 8th at the Two Rivers Bank which many people in the area couldn’t believe that crime happened, “I was shocked,” said Arlington resident Linda Menking.

Menking said this is the first time a bank was robbed in the town since 1971, and thinks the robbers took advantage of the situation.

“Because of the funeral last week in Council Bluffs, everything was a little bit short-handed, so their timing was excellent as far as if you are a robber,” said Menking.

Resident said in their typically safe community they are not immune to crime to seep in.

 “Puts things into perspective that you are not safe anywhere as we thought in this little town, it was very surprising especially when it happened latterly down the street and we were here when it happened,” said Arlington resident Christin VonDollen.

It’s that vulnerability Thysse said is tempting to the thieves, “The smaller communities i think they are more trusting they know their customer base, they don’t have the security features that the larger, inner in-town banks have.”

Crimestoppers has doubled its reward to $20,000 for a tip leading to an arrest, that number is 402-444-STOP.

To look at a list of robberies and for more information click here: https://bankrobbers.fbi.gov/