Bank robberies down in Lexington, other financial crimes up

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - It's a national trend, that Lexington police say they are also seeing locally. Bank robberies are down, but there is a huge increase in another kind of financial crimes.

Detective Gene Haynes of the financial crimes unit tell us forgery and electronic crimes are skyrocketing, "It's a lot easier to walk into a bank with a counterfeit check or a counterfeit money order or steal somebody's credit card than it is to go into a bank with a gun and hold somebody up."

Detective Haynes says the reasons are varied, "It's a lot easier to victimize someone when you're not face to face with them."
Another reason may be that bank robberies are classified as violent crimes, but that's not the case with electronic theft, " Most of the time they receive probation as opposed to a jail sentence."

In some cases, Detective Haynes said stealing money in small amounts can help criminals avoid stiffer penalties as well," If I steal $2000 from 10 different people, I've stolen $20,000. The law will look at that as I've only stolen $2000.10 times. If I steal $20,000 from one person I've stolen $20,000."

Police also credit their high rate of catching bank robbers as a reason the crime is down in Lexington.