Public Helps Nab Bank Robbers, Police Say

Friday's bank robbery prompted us to ask how easy or difficult it is to solve those crimes and how local police have fared in solving them in the last couple of years.

Since January of 2006, we have had 12 bank robberies in Amarillo, counting today's at Chase Bank. Police tell us they are about 50-50 on cases solved. There is one key element that can make or break a case.

According to the FBI, the average amount stolen is $23,000.

And more often than not, a demand note, not a firearm, is the mode of choice for suspects when getting the money from tellers.

Police say one piece of information can make all the difference in cracking a case.

You may remember the day of this standoff at an Amarillo apartment complex.

The same day, just a few blocks away, a bank robbery took place.

Cpl. Jerry Neufeld of the Amarillo Police Department says, "that case went unsolved for months but a witness who saw the car that day is in Amarillo."

Police then were able to track down the robber.  That is why police say the best information comes from those who experienced the crime first hand.  Neufeld says, "witnesses are key. That's what we tell people, if you're in a situation like that be the best witness you can be."

Being the best means getting the most accurate description of the suspect possible.

Here is something else you may find interesting:

The branch office of the bank is more likely to be robbed than the main office.