Banks Taking Security Precautions

Published 05/09 2012 06:13PM

Updated 05/09 2012 06:24PM

CHAMPAIGN -- Banks are staying on high alert after a rash of robberies within a week. The suspects are still on the loose. Three bank robberies within five days, all within a mile of one another.
    But, owners of one bank, right in the middle aren't worried. WCIA-3's Amanda Porterfield finds out why they're so calm.
    They're reviewing, training and keeping an eye out. But, their tactic is simple; just be nice. At Prospect Bank, you're greeted at the door with a smile, and a pair of dogs. They say a little hospitality goes a long way.
    "Hopefully we are going to meet them before they get in because if you meet someone face-to-face at the door, they're not going to come in and rob you."
    Carol Welch is the Vice President at Prospect Bank. She says good security is important. Especially since she's been through a few bank robberies in her 40-years on the job.
    "He was in line for about 5-minutes and there were 5-people behind him, so, I didn't even realize we had been robbed until it was over."
    Prospect Bank is in between two of the three banks robbed this week. While they're not worried, they are getting prepared.
    "We review our alarms to make sure everyone knows how and when to set them off. Make sure our photos are all in good shape."
    The robbers who hit Central Illinois Credit Union were wearing hats, blocking their faces. The sign outside stops that.
    "It's a scary situation and we are probably more alert than we normally would be."
    Now, being alert is especially important, because one suspect was armed during this latest robbery. Police say that's a bad sign.
    "The first two, there's no sense of violence, compared to this more recent one."
    "It concerns us. It should concern people in the community."
    "We don't want to have a situation where we have other people out there trying this. It's dangerous."
    In terms of the investigation, police definitely believe the first two are related and the third is "similar." But, they need the public's help to identify the suspects. Leads are thin, and anonymous tips to Crime Stoppers would make a big difference.
    The guy in the video was wearing a hat and glasses. He was allowed in the bank because he's a regular who's been coming to the bank for years, so everyone knows him. 

Champaign County Crime Stoppers
(217) 373 - TIPS
Text: Tip397 + info to CRIMES (274637)

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