Bank Bans On Hats, Hoods, Sunglasses? Never Seems To Work

The hooded robber is the scourge of both real banks and those on TV. One obvious thing to do is not allow people to enter a bank with hats, hoods or sunglasses. Every so often this comes up. Currently, Central Florida is making a push to do so.

Here'a a video broadcast that overviews it:

Moreover, there is no real penalty as the PD admits, "Individuals who do not obey this policy will not be refused service. However, they will be watched carefully by bank personnel and the bank will be placed on heightened alert."

Interestingly, one bank, BB&T objected, saying that it would be offensive to their customers.

Of course, this is not surprising. Telling hundreds of valued customers to take off their hats or sunglasses is a significant nuisance and risks turning off customers because many people, right or wrong, will not see this as protecting them but an implication that they are criminals.

interesting that Richard Nixon masks aren't specifically prohibited

...also, I wonder if the average LE response time to robberies at BB&T will change any since they are the only bank thumbing their noses at this new LE-sourced 'suggestion'?

Persona's Non Grata at banks in Longwood, FL:

Stevie Wonder

José Feliciano

Little John

Yoko Ono

Snoop Dogg (possibly Lion as well; not sure)

Whatever increased risk of 'note passing' robbers is likely to be offset with customer good will from people who do not want to be hassled. It's summer time in Florida. I bet there are a lot of people wearing sunglasses and or caps.

there is a bank chain in our town that has those same rules regarding sunglasses... i have often wondered about customers who have presciption glasses with darkening lenses... it seems after they walk into a building it takes a bit to have the lens go from darkened to clear... would you hit a man with glasses? nope just kick them out of the bank...

Keefe, I'd be very curious to hear how often a person is kicked out of a bank because they refuse to take off their cap or sunglasses. I am sure it happens but I suspect it's rare.

John, i doubt it happens very often and if so i am sure they are pretty selective... no one wants to tell the old woman wearing a sun hat that she has to remove it for fear she will pull her money from the bank for being treated like a criminal... on the other hand a younger person wearing sunglasses or hoodie they may... gone are the days when a person used to be able to wear a balaclava into a bank and not get starred at or cause people to run...

Sort of like this:

In my area of the country the robbers don't even where mask, they just walk in, pass a note, walk out with the money, doing this about 3-7 time's until they finally get caught.

The point is: Not all bank robbers where hoodies,mask and cover their faces. The just rob out of desperation in a bad economy.

The real fix is for banks, businesses, retail establishments to stop being so cheap, and invest in cameras inside and out, not just at the cash register or area of concern.

Besides they really don't care about the loss or they would change policies.

They are fully insured by the fed's to 250k per robbery (hold up), (25mil per Bank), so I really don't think there worried about a mere 5-15k.

The tellers are trained to let them go with what ever they ask for so as not to harm and not to draw attention for (bad press). Besides the cameras I have seen are usually old

Going back to your first post John, we actually have one customer in Europe that used our Face Detection Analytic to only open the bank door for a customer if a face is detected. Agree with others that asking customers to remove hats and sunglasses is not a customer friendly policy but it should discourage some robberies and fraudulent activities.

Dan, thanks for sharing. Does it not open the door if someone is wearing a hat or sunglasses or? What notice does the user get if they are denied access?

Correct. Person walks into a type of mantrap and a recorded audio voice asks person to look up at the monitor/camera to see a face. If a face is detected, the 2nd doors opens. If no face is detected, audio message is repeated until face is detected while there is a person standing in Mantrap. Person can either leave or wait for someone from bank to come who gets alerted.

Mantrap and facial check, wow!

Interesting, though, there are not a lot of US banks with mantraps and probably for the same reason as not enforcing the hat rules, customers don't like the feeling of going through such a checkpoint.

That's interesting. I have been to banks in North Carolina where I had to press a button and look into a little camera before the door would unlock. I think it was an Aiphone intercom, and someone was unlocking the door remotely. I guess it was to make sure they got a clear view of my face -- maybe even a photo.

The first time I used it, I pressed the button and went straight to the second door, and someone came over the speaker telling me to go back and look into the camera again. Never had any problems after that though. They also have similar systems at some of the embassies here in D.C.

Haven't seen those requests in my neck of the woods.

What next? Your online banking will be with a web cam. AND, a sign in the background that says "No shoes No service"?

Sunrise, FL bank robbery: $5 says someone from Sunrise, FL PD has read/seen the original story above about Longwood and will float a similar, non-binding 'suggestion' of compliance there. This dude's M.O. is spot on - both hat and sunglasses!

Unrelated: Check out this image the FBI released of the Sunrise robber - lots of extra internal information included below the image :)