The FBI warns that even in this high-tech age, old-fashioned bank robberies are still a cause for concern. Bank robberies have definitely become a cause for concern for Des Moines Residents. Two bank robberies were reported today in Des Moines. First, a bank robbery was reported about 9:23 a.m. at the West Bank location at 3839 Merle Hay Road. Later, another bank robbery happened at the U.S. Bank at 2500 East Euclid Avenue.
Bank robberies are serious crimes that lead to very long prison sentences and other penalties. First, bank robberies are federal crimes. The primary reason for this is that banks are federal institutions, not private entities like stores or other commonly robbed establishments. 18 U.S.C. § 2113 defines what a bank robbery is. According to 18 U.S.C. § 2113, a person commits a bank robbery if he or she, by force and violence, or by intimidation, takes, or attempts to take, from the person or presence of another, or obtains or attempts to obtain by extortion any property or money or any other thing of value belonging to, or in the care, custody, control, management, or possession of, any bank, credit union, or any savings and loan association.
Federal crimes prescribe harsher penalties for perpetrators. In the case of bank robberies, under 18 U.S.C. § 2113(e), a person who kills any person in the commission of a bank robbery shall be punished by death or life imprisonment.
Moreover, federal law punishes crimes that are incidental to bank robberies. A simple attempt to enter a bank with intent to commit robbery in this bank could be imprisoned for up to twenty years. Receiving any property or money stolen from a bank is a federal crime as well.