ST. LOUIS (KMOV) – The FBI in St. Louis says there’s been 22 bank robberies in the eastern half of Missouri this year, which is more than double the number there were at this point last year.
According to the FBI, bank robberies have been on the rise in recent years. After a record in 2002, there were an average of 43 for the next six years, but in 2009, that number shot up to 70, and then 71 in 2010.
If robberies continue at their current pace, there will be 82 at the end of 2011, which would be the most since the FBI in St. Louis started keeping track of these numbers more than a decade ago.
Officials with the FBI do not want people thinking there are twice as many bank robbers, but rather just the same people doing it repeatedly. They say two robbers are believed to make up about 40 precent of the cases from 2010.
The FBI encourages people to visit Bandittrackerstlouis.com for pictures and descriptions of all suspects, along with information about potential rewards.