Houston sees big increase in robberies

HOUSTON They say they're seeing more serial robbers here. The FBI believes one has hit as many as 16 banks around the Houston area, but the economy may not be a factor.

There have been 152 bank robberies so far in 2009. In 2008, there were just 131. The city is now about 10 robberies away from setting a new record.

The FBI says the gunmen have gotten more violent, such as one where a teller was shot last week in west Houston. They say more crooks appear to be targeting banks at grocery stores.

"It's a very frightening thing for these individuals if they're banking or inside a grocery store when one of these robberies occurs, especially when we've had shots fired and individuals injured," said FBI Spokesperson Shauna Dunlap.

The FBI says there is a $5,000 cash reward for any information that helps them catch a bank robber. You can call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

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