Friday most popular day for bank robberies

NEW YORK Wed Apr 6, 2011 12:58pm EDT

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Bank robberies in the United States take place most often in mid-morning, on Fridays and in southern and western states, according to government statistics released on Tuesday.

Robbers stole slightly more than $43 million last year nationwide in 5,546 robberies of banks, credit unions and other financial institutions, statistics released by the FBI showed.

The South led the way with 1,790 bank robberies, followed by the West with 1,691. California had the most robberies at 805, followed by Texas with 464. North Dakota, where there were two bank robberies, had the least.

Overall, there were 5,628 reported bank crimes -- the 5,546 robberies along with 74 burglaries, eight larcenies and 13 extortions of financial institutions.

That marked a decrease from 2009, when there were 6,065 such crimes reported, the FBI said.

The FBI does not speculate on why such a decrease occurred, said spokeswoman Denise Ballew.

Most robberies took place at bank counters and involved notes demanding money and threats of weapons, the statistics showed.

Nearly all of the $43 million haul was cash, and about $8 million was later recovered, the FBI said.

(Reporting by Ellen Wulfhorst, editing by Greg McCune)

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