FBI talks trends, 'snitching' stigma
Posted at: 10/01/2013 10:37 PM
By: Maria Guerrero, KOB Eyewitness News 4
KOB Eyewitness News 4 got a rare opportunity to talk with the FBI about something they don’t ever talk about: Bank robberies.
An FBI agent says they’re reaching out to the community to stop criminals and put an end to a stigma.
Byron Shane Chubbuck aka “Robin the Hood” was legendary when it came to robbing banks in the Duke City back in 1998 and 1999.
He slipped by FBI agents time after time.
Chubbuck is serving an 80-year sentence in Texas.
Could someone have helped authorities catch him and other bank robbers sooner?
FBI special agent Paul Wright shared some insight on his fight to bring these criminal to justice.
“The thing that motivates me the most in doing this is to try to get the person in custody before the person has a chance to strike again," said Wright.
So far this year, there’ve been 33 bank robberies in New Mexico, most in the Metro area.
Wright says 21 percent of bank robbers brandish a gun, 75 percent are feeding a drug habit.
"Heroin, meth amphetamine or cocaine addiction," he said.
The FBI is reaching out online to get tips.
Its website has been up since December.
"We need the public's help in a lot of cases,” said Wright.
The FBI’s bank robbery website shows unsolved bank robberies over the past five years.
"People can get a reward of up to $1,000 for providing information that leads to a conviction," said Wright.
The FBI hopes the World Wide Web will also help break down a long-standing stigma for some.
"You hear this expression: snitches get stitches and things like that and people by providing these kinds of tips can prevent other people from being robbed, potentially prevent something catastrophic," he said.
Prison time varies for bank robbers.
For example, if someone doesn’t brandish a gun, doesn’t have a rap sheet and shows remorse, they may get three years, said Wright.
But a repeat felon with a gun would be a mandatory life sentence.