Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Grocery-Store Banks See Rise in Robberies.

Byline: Daniel J. Chacon Journal Staff Writer

Branches Handy For Customers, Robbers

With one child still in diapers and the other about to reach the Terrible twos, Anna Romero shops at the Lucky Sav-On on Cerrillos Road because it makes her life easier.

The 26-year-old Santa Fe woman can drop off film, pick up a dozen doughnuts, buy wine, concert tickets and flowers. Even bank.

"It's more convenient for me here because I can put (my two children) in the basket," she said Thursday. "Here, I feel safer because there's always people around."

But in New Mexico and across the country, supermarkets are luring more than grocery shoppers.

Bank robbers are finding that grocery stores and the bank branches they often now include are convenient for them, too.

While the FBI in New Mexico investigated one supermarket bank robbery in 1998, the number jumped to 12 in 1999. The following year, 11 supermarket banks were robbed, and two already have been hit this year. …

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