Answer by Barbara Hurst
I don't know your location, so this is a little hard to evaluate. The tracking device you are talking about is only effective in certain locales. Los Angeles is one of them. It works the same way the anti-auto-theft device works. Only instead of being triggered by theft, it is tripped when going through the electronic field in the door of your institution, and immediately shows up on a screen in the police station. All the police have to do is track it to arrest the robbers. We like it because it takes the arrest scene far from the financial institution. But unless you live in an area where the police have agreed to monitor such a device, it isn't much help to you. As to the effectiveness of the dye pack - the new ones are also paper thin, and virtually undetectable. We hear of many instances of their successful use - but the need for them must be evaluated by each financial institution, including the determination of exposure and location.
Answer by Dana Turner
Most robbers know of dye packs and what will happen to them shortly after they exit the door. While dye packs are not totally ineffective, their effectiveness has been reduced significantly since they were first introduced. The type of tracking device mentioned by your employee has proven effective. There are many different types of "homing" devices available from many vendors -- and most of them require that the local law enforcement agency acquire the equipment necessary to monitor them. Contact your local agency and see if it has such equipment. The agency's Crime Prevention Unit should also be able to guide you to several qualified vendors.
First published on BankersOnline.com 3/19/01