NYC Police Commish Says TD Bank Is Too Easy To Rob

The NYC police commissioner, Ray Kelly, is super annoyed at TD Bank because he says they’re just too easy to rob. In one example of this phenomenon, a robber was thwarted by three Chase branches before successfully robbing a TD Bank. And get this, 17% of this New York City’s bank robberies occurred at TD Bank branches.

What’s the problem? Well, apparently the bank’s friendly atmosphere makes it too easy to rip off. The police want all banks to go back to using bullet-proof glass, install more cameras, and to use counter tops that capture clear fingerprints.

TD Bank says, “We don’t believe saying that we have a disproportionate amount of robberies is a fair portrayal of us.”

Bank robberies in New York City were up 57% last year, a stat that some are blaming on the crappy economy.

Commish Tells TD Bank It Has Too Many Robberies [Gothamist]
(Photo:Morton Fox)

TD sent us the following note regarding this post:

I want to share TD’s view with you about the bandit barriers and what we are actually doing to protect our customers and employees. We do share the concerns of the Commissioner. We continue to evaluate all our security measures, and we take the safety of our customers and employees very seriously. In the meantime we do have additional paid detail at all our New York City stores.

As for he barriers, we strongly believe the bandit barriers are not an effective deterrent. According to the NYPD, almost two-thirds (64%) of all bank robberies in New York City took place at branches equipped with bandit barriers. Plus, not all Employees can be positioned behind the barriers, increasing the likelihood that they – or our Customers – could be subjected to violence or used as potential hostages during an armed robbery.

Rebecca Acevedo
TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank

Comments

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  1. katinka says:

    the td in my town was robbed twice this week by the same guy!

    [www.dailyrecord.com]

  2. Brontide says:

    Yeah, these crooks should do it the “right way”… on Wall St with hedge funds.

  3. funkfrost says:

    Doesn’t TD have longer hours than most banks giving them more time to get robbed?

  4. formergr says:

    And now that Commissioner Kelly’s comments have been publicized, robbery attempts at TD Banks are going to skyrocket. Way to advertise, there, Kelly!

  5. Kos says:

    Kelly made the same warnings about Commerce Bank for the past several years… which is now TD Bank. Why would people want to open an account at an institution where there is an increased risk of robberies?

    Also, someone explain to me how have Regis and Ripka shill for your company supposed to drive business?

    • Greasy Thumb Guzik says:

      @Kos:
      Regis gets the senile to open accounts & Ripa gets the stupid blondes to open accounts!

    • Papercutninja says:

      @Kos: Because old people are stupid.

      • Eilonwynn says:

        @Papercutninja: Well, I can only speak for Canadian branches… but compared to the other options, TD’s service is utterly astronomical. They have been willing to jump through more hoops on my behalf than I could ever have hoped.

    • Beerad says:

      @Kos: “Why would people want to open an account at an institution where there is an increased risk of robberies?”

      Because the chances of your banking institution of choice being robbed has virtually no impact on your banking there, compared with the advantages of doing so? I had an account there when they were Commerce Bank and absolutely loved it (moved out of the area) — best customer service I’ve ever had at a bank, extended hours, yes, even the free coin counting. It really is America’s Most Convenient Bank.

  6. BPA-Free_GitEmSteveDave says:

    Thank you for pointing out the deficiencies in TD’s security.

    But on the positive side, they actually use Sam Waterston to prosecute the robbers when they are caught!

  7. Anonymous says:

    I don’t understand why the US doesn’t go to a European system where you have to pass through a series of 2 airlock doors before entering or leaving banks. That would deter bank robbers. Banks in metro European cities have had these for decades and they don’t get robbed.

  8. sweetpea12 says:

    lol love the picture. It captures the essence of the story.

  9. Aladdyn says:

    “17% of this New York City’s bank robberies occurred at TD Bank branches” seems like it would be pertinent to note what percentage of bank branches in New York are TD banks

  10. PunditGuy says:

    Remember, the rationale for robbing a bank is “because that’s where the money is.” I believe this situation will sort itself out soon enough.

  11. Chris I says:

    They don’t fly the ‘TD Canada Trust’ flag down south?

  12. Xanaxian says:

    Since it’s a Canadian bank (TD stands for Toronto Dominion), it’ll probably be one of the few available when the American ones are done flushing themselves down the sewer.

  13. menty666 says:

    I had a bank long ago that didn’t have the bullet proof glass, I thought it was a refreshingly nice change and my first thought wasn’t “woohoo, time to rob them!”. I’m sick of customer service people in cages, it encourages them to treat me like I’m in one too.

    Though now I know why have those shiny counters in banks and I’ll start paraffining my fingers before I go in, thanks.

  14. Saboth says:

    Wow, none of the banks where I live have any bulletproof glass or fancy countertops.

  15. DerangedRoleModel says:

    I would imagine the theft rate at WaMu is freaking low.

  16. hypochondriac says:

    I knew someone who worked at a bank. He told be the Bullet Proof Glass was basically just for show. His boss said that if someone ever tried to rob the bank give them the money. From what I’ve heard that standard across most banks. They would rather turn over the money then risk a crook shooting a customer.

    If that’s true I question how much of a deterrent bullet proof glass is.

  17. sir_eccles says:

    I was in a Wachovia just yesterday that has one of these new Plexiglas screens. The floor manager was actually talking to someone else about the mandate from the police to install them. I quipped to him that it assumed there was anything worth taking.

    He didn’t quite get the joke on the same level as me.

  18. hypochondriac says:

    Wish there was an edit button.

    I curious if the Crook had a gun when he tried robbing the 3 chase banks before the he managed to get lucky at the TD branch

  19. xamarshahx says:

    bulletproof glass?? most robberies are with notes passed at the counter, when i worked at commerce they told us to just hand over the money, thats what insurance was for. more cameras and new countertops does make sense.

  20. N.RobertMoses says:

    I can’t recall a TD Bank I have been in, other than those outside of NYC, that didn’t have an in uniform NYPD officer in it.

  21. hypochondriac says:

    @ N.RobertMoses

    That’s strange because I’ve been in several TD banks in NYC none of them have had Cop inside or outside.

  22. JGKojak says:

    You see… if you want to rob a bank in NYC the RIGHT WAY, you become a hedge fund manager, take a golden parachute worth millions and leave a few weeks before your fund plummets. Then you take a govt bailout.

    • metsarethe... says:

      @JGKojak: what hedge fund managers recieved a golden parachute? Or for that matter bailout money? Somebody already beat you to your misinformed joke haha

      FAIL

  23. trrwilson says:

    I saw something really dumb at a bank’s main office building. They installed 2 or 3″ bullet resistant glass in all the windows of the security guard’s station. Then, rather than install an intercom, they had holes drilled in it and covered with cheap aluminum grates so you could talk to the guy without yelling.

  24. bilge says:

    I just switched my accounts from BoA to TD Bank. I like solvency.

    [www.nytimes.com]

    I just finished listening to “Bad Banks” on This American Life and out of curiosity I looked up a few banks’ market caps:
    TD Bank: 23.12B
    Bank of America: 19.52B
    Citibank: 5.53B

    I welcome our poutine-eating overlords.

    • Eliamias says:

      @bilge: TD aren’t the poutine eating overlords. Rather it’s the Bank of Montreal (Harris bank in the States I believe.)

      Poutine is some serious artery clogging fun though.

  25. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    I need to know two things:

    Does Google street view have cameras at that TD Bank

    and

    If so, what are the chances they were on and caught the robbery taking place?

    • formergr says:

      @pecan 3.14159265: Google Street View is filmed by a van with a mounted camera that drives down the street. So, no, the chances that the camera was present, much less on, is pretty much nonexistent.

  26. ionerox says:

    Any bank (or retail establishment) tells it’s employees to just hand over the money, and to try to get a good description of the robber- it’s better than risking anyone getting hurt.

    The only thing that glass does is keep a would-be robber from vaulting the counter into the teller line on their own… and making old people act all weird and try to talk through the little slot at the bottom. (I really don’t miss being a bank teller in a branch next door to a retirement community.)

  27. kwsventures says:

    It seems the location of a bank can make it easy to rob. We have a local bank that is on a corner right next to a freeway on-ramp. It has been robbed often. The getaway escape is ideal for crooks.

  28. IT-Chick says:

    I just have to say the picture made me “LOL”.

  29. weave says:

    The other thing that bothers me about these banks are computer screens on desks that are visible from the street. WTH?

  30. Scoobatz says:

    And get this, 17% of this New York City’s bank robberies occurred at TD Bank branches.

    At face value, this seems like such an irrelevant statistic. How am I supposed to interpret this? I’m having a 67% hard time understanding this.

  31. coren says:

    lol they don’t believe it’s a fair portrayal – what about an accurate one? The truth hurts

  32. dorastandpipe says:

    When I worked in banking many moons ago, I was robbed by the same guy twice about a week apart. He came back a third time but we were closed for a holiday. I would have loved to have some bullet RESISTANT glass between me and the guy that robbed me. I didn’t see a gun, but his saying he had one in his note was enough for me.

  33. Mikestan says:

    pwned

  34. Comms says:

    Ha, even Canadian banks are more friendly.

  35. nybiker says:

    @Kos(for some reason the ‘@’ code isn’t working): The reason they have those 2 shills for the bank is the same reason they wasted money on naming rights for TD Banknorth Garden – Boston’s Premier Sports and Entertainment Arena (to quote from their home page description). I guess like every other john out there, they think if people keep seeing the name in a sports story (or those 2 people on tv) that we’ll all go to their bank when we need a bank. I would like to think that consumerist readers are smarter than that and make our decisions based on “the facts of the case” rather than shills (and other blatant tie-ins that have nothing to do with banking). And there is another wonderful john that thinks people seeing their name on an event is good for business. It seems that the good folks at AT&T have created a AT&T Concert Series at the Garden. Are we all going to run out and get Fleetwood Mac tickets because of these two wonderful companies? Only if you want to get crushed by the other great company we all love and admire; of course, I am speaking of ticketmaster.

  36. Zenatrul says:

    My parents use TD(I’m in Canada) I have never switched over to them at all still keeping all my money in BMO.

    My local BMO is not secure at all, when I walk by there is this little corridor between the tellers and the offices that lead right back to the vault.

  37. HogwartsAlum says:

    I’ve been doing research on bank robbery for a book. Most bank robberies are “note jobs.” You could stand right next to the guy and not know the bank was being robbed. I don’t like going into the bank at any time because I’m chicken that there will be a takeover robbery while I’m in there. (I’m one of those people who while standing in line is always looking for something I can defend myself with just in case of zombie attack.)

    And what is up with the Profile and Login things at the top? They’ve been AWOL for two days…I can’t directly reply to anyone either. :(

  38. missdona says:

    My cousin was a manager at Commerce (before they were absorbed by TD). She said the founders knew about the vulnerabilities and didn’t care. “That’s why we have insurance.”

    • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

      @missdona: If it really was a flaw that’s obvious, their insurance premiums would be several times the insurance premiums of their competitors.

      • missdona says:

        @Applekid: It’s totally that obvious. The founders were Burger King franchisees in NJ (or something like that) and their vision was banking as easy as going into BK.

    • TheFuzz53 says:

      @missdona:

      Not really a surprise, considering the founder himself was a crook. That only reason he sold the bank was because he was in deep with the Feds.

    • Tmoney02 says:

      @missdona: we need eybrows mcgee to comment on this. There has been discussion about moral hazard all week and she is in the insurance industry to boot.

  39. Garbanzo says:

    “According to the NYPD, almost two-thirds (64%) of all bank robberies in New York City took place at branches equipped with bandit barriers.” Meaningless unless we know what percentage of branches are equipped with bandit barriers.

  40. ovalseven says:

    “And get this, 17% of this New York City’s bank robberies occurred at TD Bank branches.”

    What percentage of New York City’s banks is TD? If it’s close to 17%, we might not have a story here.

  41. reidnez says:

    I have to say that I can see both sides of this. I don’t mind a bank having an armed guard or two, in fact I think that makes perfect sense. But one of my local credit union branches has an airlock-style metal detector in the front door. If you dare to try and enter the bank with keys and a cellphone, the door locks and you have to wait for a guard to come over and shake you down. Once you pass this checkpoint, you are greeted by a full-height wall of bulletproof glass between you and the teller. I found it very off-putting, like it was *presumed* that I was there to rob the place. I now drive a bit further to visit a branch which doesn’t have the ambiance of a Supermax prison. If all the branches were like this, I’d honestly be inclined to do my banking elsewhere.

    The fact is that the majority of bank robbers quietly pass a note to the teller, claiming to be armed (they often aren’t–being armed significantly boosts prison time if the perp is later caught, and the smarter criminals know this.) The hollywood-style “ski mask and uzi” robbery is relatively uncommon. In any case, the tellers are trained to hand over the money when confronted, because it’s insured and the bank does not want to risk provoking a gun battle.

  42. Ben_Q2 says:

    use counter tops that capture clear fingerprints”

    Huh? Never seen these before. That would mean for it to work they would have to keep them clean. I can see it now a teller saying hold on why she cleans the counter just in case you rob them. Links anyone?

  43. reflection717 says:

    I worked at Commerce, this isn’t really new. The NYC PD really hates this model of customer friendly banking. In reality, yes, it makes it easier for a robber to get to the tellers, however, most banks train their tellers not to resist but to just hand over as little as the robber will take.

    (I’ve heard some great stories about a teller handing over a single bill and saying that’s all you’re gonna get – and the robber took it and ran)

    Add that to the following:

    Commerce, now TD, is open almost 4000 hours a year which is WAY more than most other banks. Normalize that 17% against open hours and it’s not that bad.

    One branch I worked at got robbed in this way – The robber walked up to a Customer Service Rep, showed a gun and said to get money from the vault. The robber kept the CSR at gunpoint at the desk while the manager went to comply. Unless you put everyone behind a barrier, that kind of robbery won’t change.

    I’m not a TD plant, I left the bank almost 2 years ago for another career entirely. I just don’t like sensationalism (from the commissioner, not Consumerist) and wanted to add a couple points for discussion.

  44. themicah says:

    How is this news? Here’s a quote from the NYTimes back in 2005:

    Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly recently sent a letter to Commerce pointing out the bank’s most-robbed status. The letter criticized Commerce for refusing to adopt a number of recommended security practices, including installing glass windows between tellers and customers.

  45. NYBanker says:

    I’ve worked for two banks. Bandit barriers do absolutely NOTHING. During one robbery at a branch that had a barrier, the robber went up to the customer service rep and pistol whipped her. Then made her let him behind the teller line.
    Most robberies consist of someone passing a note that says “I have a gun, give me your money” and the teller gives them some money. The robber is gone in less than 60 seconds. Lastly, how does the barrier protect the other customers in the lobby, or the other workers who are NOT behind the barrier? This is a false controversy.

  46. Anonymous says:

    Weird ..TD seems to be the bank of choice. Another TD bank in our fair city was robbed. This time the robbers didnt get away.

    “Police say a man suspected of robbing a TD Canada Trust bank on Montreal Rd. within the past hour has been shot by officers in an exchange of bullets. “

    http://www.ottawasun.com/News/OttawaAndRegion/2009/03/06/8659211.html

  47. Anonymous says:

    I have been a TD customer for thirty years in Canada and they are no slouches about security. Banking is about trust, and I think it would be hard to develop a relationship with someone behind a glass wall. But we dont even do that in taxis.

  48. xkevin says:

    @reflection717: “Commerce, now TD, is open almost 4000 hours a year which is WAY more than most other banks. Normalize that 17% against open hours and it’s not that bad.”

    Its bad. There’s approximately 65 TD branches in the 5 boroughs based on a quick glance of the FDIC website. Citibank has more than that in Manhattan alone. Factor in the remaining Citi branches, Chase, BofA and the other national/regional/local banks and 17% is pretty large for a small population…

  49. PoopsieDoodle says:

    I actually drove by a TD Bank robbery last week. There were cop cars out front, so my first thought was “ZOMG bank robbery! But probably not really a bank robbery! I’m sure those police officers have a perfectly mundane reason to be sitting there!” But, yeah, turns out it really was a bank robbery.

  50. Bs Baldwin says:

    This is still news? NYC has been mad at us (TD Bank formerly Commerce Bank) since ’01 because we don’t have glass between the tellers and customers. Glass partitions do not stop a robber from getting money, they just add some assumed security for the customers. And for the story about the robbers that went to 3 chase branches before they robbed a td store, there are just as many instances with the tables turned around. TD stores in NYC have full-time greeters and security guards on location; these stop robbers more than some plastic will. Robbers do not want anyone to see their faces and remember them.

    Also, Wachovia got robbed more than TD, with 40% less offices.

  51. NYBanker says:

    where did you get the Wachovia numbers, both for the number of branches and the number of robberies?

  52. Kogenta says:

    If you follow the article links you’ll get various articles that mention the info.

    “In 2008, 21 of Wachovia’s 24 branches were robbed. Wachovia’s new owners, Wells Fargo, lost no time this year to revamp two branches. Capital One has put in bid to install so-called bandit barriers.”
    [www.nydailynews.com]

  53. jamar0303 says:

    @reflection717: Funny how this only happens to their US branches. Maybe they should start restructuring them to the style of their Canadian branches?

  54. vladthepaler says:

    The most interesting part of that response is that he uses the word “stores” to describe his bank branches. I’ve never heard a bank referred to as a store before.

  55. ottawa_guy says:

    @SooratThisbe And to believe that is my home TD branch, sigh.

    I have to say TD bank is a very good bank, been with them for 10 years and I have no problems with them. I wish they would expand out of NY and go further south in the US, that way I can use them in FL when I go vacationing.

  56. daleyboy says:

    Just curious….
    I have accounts at TD bank. I was there today at my local branch in Bayside Queens. I’ve noticed for some time that they have a cop stationed in the bank, seems like the entire time the bank is open. WHO PAYS HIS SALARY?
    Oh, and today while I was there at the cash machine, the nice young cop was leaning against the wall TEXTING!!! YEP!!
    Hey, I’m sure TD bank must have a camera someplace that should have captured that! But why would they care, I’m sure TD doesn’t pay his salary. What a joke!