Chicago Has Record Number of Bank Heists in 2005

And law enforcement officials say that's because the convenience of having a teller on virtually every street corner has given robbers more choices to pick from.

The FBI says there were a record 238 bank robberies in 2005 compared with 160 in 2004.

And according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, 243 new bank offices opened in the Chicago area alone in the year ending June 2005.

One of the most prolific bank robbers the "Wheaton Bandit" is believed responsible for more than a dozen holdups.

In response, West Suburban Bank has put up signs at its branches asking customers to remove hats, hoods and sunglasses. A similar program in Missouri reduced robberies at participating banks by 40 percent.

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