BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) — There's an upward trend in bank robberies in the southern Kentucky city of Bowling Green.
The Daily News (http://bit.ly/13fqvop ) reported Monday there have been eight bank robberies in the past eight months in Bowling Green, and police have made arrests in just half of those.
The city is on track to break the five-year record number of robberies set last year when five banks were robbed. A little more than five weeks into 2013, three banks had already been robbed.
In 2008, three robberies were recorded. There was one recorded in 2009, two in 2010 and three in 2011.
Bowling Green police spokesman Officer Ronnie Ward says authorities have increased their patrols of local banks.
A Warren County grand jury indicted Steven Paul Harston, 47, on two counts of first-degree robbery and two counts of possession of a handgun by a convicted felon. The charges stem from a June 20 robbery of an American Bank & Trust branch and a Jan. 3 robbery at First Security Bank.
Carlos Garcia-Hernandez, 31, of Bowling Green, was charged Aug. 31 with second-degree robbery in the Aug. 3 robbery of a BB&T branch, Ward said. He is scheduled to appear in Warren County Circuit Court on Wednesday.
Bowling Green police arrested James L. Russell, 43, address unknown, on Dec. 18 and charged him with first-degree robbery in connection with the Dec. 17 bank robbery of South Central Bank.
Other bank robberies in Bowling Green include U.S. Bank on Aug. 8, Hancock Bank on Sept. 18, Service One Credit Union on Jan. 18 and PBI Bank on Feb. 6, Ward said.
There are a number of factors that could drive bank robberies, including economic strains, said Jerry Daday, a Western Kentucky University associate professor of sociology.
"If you look at the economic situation, there's still many people unemployed," said Garth Griese, president of Service One Credit Union. "They're desperate to continue living the life they're accustomed to."
Warren County Commonwealth's Attorney Chris Cohron said the motivation behind bank robberies could also stem from a need for money to support drug usage.
Information from: Daily News, http://www.bgdailynews.com