The average bank robbery – of the stick ‘em up kind – netted the thief an average return of $4424, the 2004 annual report of National Armed Robbery Monitoring Program shows. The Australian Institute of Criminology published the report yesterday.

Wielding a firearm netted the thief an average $5734; a knife, $3723; a syringe, $480, and other weapons – perhaps the old finger in the pocket trick – a mere $121, on average.

Thieves used knives in 300 or so bank robberies monitored under the program.

Given the nature of the monitoring program, the report doesn’t go into the average returns to other kinds of bank robberies, such as inside jobs to fuel gambling habits, among other scams. An unscientific scan of newspaper accounts of charges and convictions on inside robberies suggests that category would produce an average loss of somewhere between ten and 100 times those involving arms and intimidation.

Peter Fray

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