VALLEJO (CBS 5) – A rash of robberies along the Highway 80 corridor is forcing a number of East Bay banks to beef up security.

Residents who spoke to CBS 5 Tuesday didn’t seem too surprised to hear that, in this economy, a number of banks have been robbed along Interstate 80 in recent months.

Starting in July, there were two bank robberies in Vacaville, one in Dixon, three in Vallejo, one in Benicia.  Last week, a suspect was killed during an attempted robbery of a Loomis armored car in front of a bank in Pinole.

“I use the ATM because, these days, you don’t feel safe anywhere,” said Tom Sparks of Hercules. “I just get to the ATM and get out.”

Both Wells Fargo and Bank of America confirm that they have increased security in the area. In an email to CBS 5, a Bank of America spokeswoman wrote:

“We are constantly adjusting our security strategy to deter potential crimes and address live-time incidents. This is true for our banking centers in Vallejo and along the I-80 corridor, where we have increased various security measures.”

Bank of America and Wells Fargo, while not disclosing their enhanced security strategies, said customers may notice some of the new measures – but not all.

One customer who talked to CBS 5 said what’s happening outside the banks is the bigger issue.

“They cut the police department in over half, how you going to cover the whole city of Vallejo?” asked resident Richard Cory.

A Wells Fargo Spokeswoman said the company has a Robbery Reward program – they’ll give someone $5,000, or even more in some cases, if they can give police information that leads to a robbers arrest.

This isn’t to say people are in a panic. Most customers Tuesday were carrying out their banking without any concern.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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