"No Hats" means fewer bank robberies
Bank robberies in Missouri continue to be lower since the "No Hats, No Hoods, No Sunglasses" bank robbery prevention program sponsored by banks and credit unions went into effect two years ago. Here are the numbers about bank/credit union robberies in Missouri since 2001:
* 2001= 123 robberies in Missouri
* 2002 = 139
* 2003 = 88 ("No Hats" program begins in May, 2003)
* 2004 = 92
* 2005 = 65
* 2006 = 87
"We're encouraged that the number of robberies continues to stay down since we began this program across the state," said Bill Ratliff, Executive Vice President of the Missouri Bankers Association. "This is a voluntary program, and only about half of the state's banks and credit unions currently participate. We want to increase those numbers, because we know that the greater the participation, the fewer the bank robberies we'll have."
Banks and credit unions display signs that request customers to remove their hats, hoods and sunglasses when entering the financial institutions' lobbies. This makes identification easier and has proven to deter potential robbbers. "If the robber can be identified, they're almost always caught," said Ratliff.
Ratliff said that bank customers have been very supportive of the program. "It's very non-intrusive. If a customer wears a hat or sunglasses in the bank, the employees simply watch that person more closely."
The program has been endorsed by the FBI, the Missouri Highway Patrol and local law enforcement agencies across the state.
Click here for more information about the No Hats program and click here for an order form for supplies.