SALT LAKE CITY -- The tally keeps going up. Police said there have been five bank robberies in less than 72 hours in Salt Lake City.
The latest robbery took place at a Zions Bank branch at 910 West 2100 South.
Police said a man entered the bank shortly before 6 p.m. Friday as the bank was closing and demanded cash. The suspect left with an undisclosed amount of money.
He is described as a while male in his 50’s with a gray goatee. A surveillance photo shows the man wearing a baseball cap and sunglasses.
This bank robbery marks the 11th so far in 2014. There were 70 bank robberies in 2013, a jump from 26 in 2012.
Det. Dennis McGowan of the Salt Lake City Police Department said drugs are often part of the equation in such crimes.
“You don’t know what’s driving their behavior, what substance they might be under the influence of, of what substance they’re getting the money they need to buy,” he said.
The five banks robbed over the past three days in Salt Lake City had different suspects with different approaches, and police are relying on the community, among other leads, to help nab these suspects.
“We feel that once the community gets on board, takes a hard look at these photos, starts looking at them, they’re going to help us get these people off the street before the next incident occurs,” McGowan said.
Two suspects have been identified so far, see the links below for details.
Juan Becerra is a former FBI agent who investigated countless bank robberies during his 21-year career. He said a lot of bank robbers are eventually caught, but with so many crimes to investigate, the list of cases is very long.
“The FBI does consider it a serious crime and aggressively pursues it as one of their priorities because it exposes the public to possible danger and injury,” Becerra said.
According to the FBI, more than $30 million was stolen and 100 people were killed in bank robberies in 2011 – the last year for which data is available.
Anyone with information regarding any of the five bank robberies over the past three days is asked to call Salt Lake City Police at (801) 799-3000.