Toledo Blade: Ohio ranks 6th in nation for bank robberies

Banks still a target
June 14, 2003

FBI crime statistics for 2002 show Ohio sixth highest in the nation, for the number of robberies of its financial institutions. The state ranked third in 2001.

Toledo, with 41 holdups last year, was second only to Cincinnati among major Ohio cities, with 44. Cleveland had 35, Dayton, 27, and Columbus, 25. Already this year another 19 holdups have occurred in Toledo, three of them recently and in quick succession.

Toledo, because of its proximity to Michigan and Indiana, and Ohio, which borders four states, is often hit by serial robbers who knock off several financial institutions in succession, often on the same day and make quick getaways.

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By contrast, Thomas C. McClenaghan, Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the FBI, State of Alaska, announced recently announced that there were a total of 8 bank robberies in the entire state of Alaska in 2002. Alaska's legislature liberalized that state's concealed carry law to a "Vermont-style" system, where in any person who is legally allowed to possess a firearm may also carry that firearm concealed for their self-defense, without mandated training or licensing.

Of course, there ARE places where bank robberies are worse - like Los Angeles, CA (where guns are all but illegal). Los Angeles continually lives up to its reputation as the nation's bank robbery capital. In 2001, criminals hit banks over 1400 times in California.

The Toledo Blade's editorial board just can't seem to see the forest for the trees. Ohio's major cities consistently rank in the top fifteen among American cities for bank robberies. The Blade points out that criminals often come across the state's borders to rob banks, but don't address the obvious question: "Why?".

They do have banks in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Michigan, Indiana and Kentucky. But they have something else too, which could likely be the reason for criminals' reason to see greener grass in Ohio: every state that borders Ohio has a concealed carry law, which allows law-abiding citizens to carry firearms for their own defense.

What self-respecting criminal would risk getting shot by a bank customer or employee, when he could drive across the border to Ohio, where he knows his victims will be rendered defenseless by state law?

Click here to read the entire editorial in the Toledo Blade.

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