Christiansburg robbery makes four bank heists in five weeks

CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (WDBJ7) Police are trying to solve yet another armed robbery of a Virginia bank.

This time, the robber hit BB&T Bank in Christiansburg Tuesday afternoon.

This is the fourth armed robbery of a bank in the last five weeks between Montgomery County and Roanoke County.

One legal expert said he's not surprised by this, but it is unexpected.

Tod Burke explained, "Bank robberies nationwide have been going down and a lot of that has to do with bank security."

Radford Professor of Criminal Justice, Burke is also a former police officer and wouldn't go into the details of that security, so as to not tip off potential thieves.

He said while bank robberies are becoming less common, around the holidays it makes sense there's a spike.

He said, "People are hurting during the holiday time, feel they need a little bit more money and they also feel that banks and armed robberies are a quick get."

But with all that security, it's not as quick as it used to be. Burke said it takes quite a bit of work, including likely checking out banks beforehand.

"More likely than not, it's the same person or persons doing this, and if not it's likely to be a copycat," Burke said.

Roanoke County Police agree that there are similarities in these recent robberies. But they need to work with Roanoke City and Christiansburg police before being sure.

In each case, the robber wore a ski mask to cover his face.

But that's just one piece officers will be looking into.

Burke described the other pieces saying, "How are they getting into the bank, how are they leaving, what type of weapon are they using if they're using a weapon at all, and what is their basic operation."

Burke said police also look at any physical evidence left behind. He is confident officers will make an arrest soon.

While that is the hopeful result, Burke also said these crimes will likely continue happening until someone is caught.

So he advised if anyone is in a bank being robbed, do whatever the person says, but pay close attention to everything. You may wind up being a great eye witness.