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FOS Blog

03 Feb

Is it really worth the “bait”?

Is it really worth the “bait”?

As long as there have been Banks, there have been people willing to rob them.  There is no asset more desirable and versatile than cold hard cash.  About 10,000 Bank robberies take place in this country each year with a total of nearly $100 million stolen.  For years, both Bank security professionals and law enforcement agencies have employed various techniques to help deter – and if not deter, apprehend – people who steal from Banks.  Many Banks have opted to put their resources in digital cameras, recorders, and other “security devices” such as bait money – a reserve pack of cash, held aside, with pre-recorded serial numbers.  Bait money is mainly useful when the robber gets caught with a stack of bills in their possession, not when it gets filtered out to a local McDonalds or WalMart (since currency is not scanned and reported every time you use it).  Even if the bill was scanned at the end of the day, there would be no way of connecting it to any one person by that time.  Studies have shown that bait money proved helpful in only 1% – 3% of all robberies.  Some experts in the field have recommended doing away with bait money all together.

Two security device alternatives to the antiquated bait money include dye packs and GPS cash trackers.  Dye packs are utilized to prevent stolen money from being used; dye packs stain both the robber and the cash, preventing use of the money and aiding in the detection of the robber.  A fairly new feature in Bank security are GPS cash trackers which begin sending a signal to the security company once the device is triggered; authorities can track the money on detailed maps through an online interface with the location listed by latitude and longitude.

While basic preventive measures should be applied to all branches, some special preventive measures should be focused on high-risk branches.  At the end of the day, each Bank has to make a risk based decision on what is best for their own security.  Have you analyzed your approach lately?