The FBI is letting everyday citizens get in on bank robbery investigations with Friday’s release of its Bank Robbers mobile app, which provides users with location-based information on unsolved bank robberies.
“Using the app, bank robberies can be sorted by the date they occurred, the category they fall under (i.e., armed serial bank robber), the FBI field office working the case, or the state where the robbery occurred. If the location services on your device are enabled, you can view a map that shows the relevant bank robberies that took place in your geographic area,” the FBI press release said. “You also access surveillance photos, physical description information, robbery details, and the FBI’s wanted poster for each suspect.”
The app is based on the FBI’s Bank Robbers website, which was launched in 2012 and features a gallery of unknown bank robbery suspects wanted by the FBI. The press release featured an example of a solved bank robbery due to a tip received through the website:
“After the website featured a suspect believed to have been responsible for 11 armed takeover-style robberies in Delaware and Pennsylvania, local police received a tip in the mail which broke the case open—a printed page from the Bank Robbers website featuring the unknown suspect believed responsible for the robberies. Across the piece of paper was a handwritten name. A subsequent investigation led to the positive identification of the suspect as well as charges being filed against him in both states. That suspect is currently awaiting trial.”
The FBI hopes that this app will help agents catch the most dangerous wanted criminals.
“We focus our investigative resources on those suspects who pose the greatest safety threats to the public,” said Gregory Adams, chief of the FBI’s Violent Crimes Unit in Washington, D.C. “And our new Bank Robbers mobile app is another tool we can use to help mitigate those threats.”
The app is currently available for Apple and Android devices.