16.7.06

LACK-OF-STATUS SYMBOLS? Illinois banks have discovered some of the identifying symbols of bank robbers and other low lives. Stickup men have become more active, and they don't dress like embezzlers.

Against that backdrop, the Illinois Bankers Association about a month ago began urging institutions to adopt a program to encourage customers visiting their branches to take off their lids, pull down their hoods and remove their shades.

"This is in response to the rising number of bank robberies we've seen in Illinois," Linda Koch, chief executive of the association, said Friday at a bank robbery seminar in Chicago.

The purpose appears to be to reduce a relatively unobtrusive form of robbery.
The IBA believes the campaign will particularly curb incidences of so-called "demand note" robberies, where a person, usually working solo, comes into a branch and, in low-key and typically non-violent fashion, hands the teller a note demanding money. They want to get out as quickly as possible and don't want to be recognized.
Years ago, "wardrobe engineer" John T. Molloy used his experience as the muggee to make a case for what he called Dress for Success (since updated.) He noted that none of the usual suspects in the police department's facebook were wearing ties.

The "do your own thing" and "capitalism is repressive" crowd has not yet weighed in on this policy, but I expect they will.

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