Valley banks working with FBI, new technology to prevent robberies

The Rio Grande Valley saw a slight increase in bank robberies in 2011 but the FBI and business leaders are doing something about it.

The FBI is overseeing the enacting new security measures and installing new types of surveillance cameras at numerous Valley banks.

Anyone who steps into banks with the Bandit Shield sticker is being watched with their image being taken and movements noted.

Marco Urive with the Capital One Bank in Edinburg spoke to Action 4 News about the new security measures.

"It's to protect our customers, associates, and the general public, Urive said.

The bank manager said over the years, he and his colleagues have worked on ways to improve security in order to make getting away a little be harder for any potential bank robber.

FBI Special Agent Erik Vasys agreed.

"We're always learning something new and when new technology is out there to get the best technology, Vasys said.

Their efforts haven't gone unnoticed.

"When a bank complies with practicing most of those procedures, we do something really simple we give them a sticker for their door, Vasys said. Although the FIB is not confirming specifics about the program, Vasys said it requires banks to have high resolution cameras that can capture a person TMs image and make them easily identified by the public.

"We need a good photo because most bank robberies are from the city where they rob, Vasys said.

While Vasys couldn't tell us how many banks are participating in the bandit shield program, he said a majority of the banks in the Valley are getting the training and working their way to this little sticker.

Out of the 85 bank robberies investigated by the FBI TMs San Antonio Division, there only eight in the Valley in 2011.

Of those eight bank robberies reported in the Valley, six were in Brownsville, one in Pharr, and one in McAllen.