CRIME

Rash of bank robberies in Northern Virginia

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There have been almost 20 bank robberies in Northern Virginia since June.

This suspect allegedly robbed a bank in Falls Church. (Photo courtesy police)

Captain Jim Daly with Arlington County Police says he's concerned with the sudden surge in bank robberies across Northern Virginia, the risk of violence increases.

"When the number of bank robberies increase, there's always going to be an increase in somebody stepping in or trying to stop the individual and in that case there could be someone who gets hurt", Daly said.

Northern Virginia is seeing a spike in bank robberies. Since June, there have been almost 20 bank robberies in the area, most of them in Fairfax and Arlington counties.

While no one has been seriously hurt during these robberies, police are concerned that the likelihood of violence will rise with the numbers of crimes.

“When the number of bank robberies increase there's always going to be an increase in somebody stepping in or trying to stop the individual and in that case there could be someone who gets hurt,” Captain Jim Daly of the Arlington County police said.

Police say that a suspect wearing a black-and-red nylon running suit displayed a revolver and demanded money from the teller at the Falls Church SunTrust bank at 603 West Broad St. just after 10:00 a.m. The entire robbery was caught on surveillance camera.

Arlington County Police are looking for a man who robbed the same bank for a second time. He is suspected of robbing four other banks as well.

The man entered a BB&T Bank in the 5500 block of Lee Highway at 2:19 p.m. on Thursday. He announced he was robbing the bank and after receiving money, fled on foot. He previously robbed that bank on June 16, 2011.

“Once he has the cash he's out the door and he disappears,” said Daly.

The man is described as a white male, 6-foot, 180 pounds, in his late 50's with gray hair.
During the robbery he wore a neon green shirt, light-colored hat, glasses and khaki pants.
Police believe this is the fourth bank he has robbed in the last three months.

“That's a common thought for me walk into a bank these days,” said bank customer Jonathan Brown.

The suspects in the robberies range in age and race. Some are men, others women; some use guns, others hammers. They get away on foot, in cars and on bicycles, but they all take money.

“Some people might be just desperate to do it,” said Marcia Zorrilla.

Experts say crimes like bank robberies often run in cycles and may not necessarily reflect economic circumstances.

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