Police Chief Says Economy to Blame for Bank Robberies
Emmaus Chief of Police David A. Faust says unemployment, population growth and changing demographics are all factors in number of bank robberies in Emmaus.
Emmaus Chief of Police David A. Faust says that the economy is largely responsible for the number of bank robberies in Emmaus in the last year or so. From July 2010 through this month, Emmaus has had five bank robberies.
“First, I believe an argument can be made that the economy is not helping us right now,” Faust said in an email interview following the July 14 armed robbery of the Sovereign Bank on Chestnut Street.
“There are people out of work,” he said. “Does that necessarily suggest that those individuals will commit a crime such as this? No, not necessarily, however, a small percentage of people become desperate during these tough economic times and take risks they may not otherwise take.”
Faust says that police departments throughout the Lehigh Valley and beyond are seeing an increase in bank robberies, adding that the relatively high number of banks in Emmaus, compared to other communities of a similar size, makes it seem that such incidents are happening more here.
“Although we have a considerable amount of banks that do reside in Emmaus, at least eight…I do not believe these incidents are mutually exclusive to Emmaus for any reason,” he said.
Population growth and changing demographics throughout the Lehigh Valley region are other factors impacting the number of bank robberies, according to Faust.
“We should consider that the Lehigh Valley has become an extension of the cities of New York and Philadelphia,” he said. “In fact the infrastructure and highways connect us to those areas in real time.”
Faust also pointed out that the economy has become a factor in these bank robberies from the law enforcement side as well.
“Every agency -- federal, state and local -- is struggling with declining budgets,” he said. “This means we are being asked to do more with less. To that end, what this means is that we must cooperate with our surrounding partners and collectively share our resources. The incident at Sovereign bank simply speaks to that level of cooperation and support.
“Emmaus is grateful for all the surrounding agencies that have and continue to support us during the recent incident as well as prior incidents,” he said.