December 2, 2016

Welcome to the December Issue of the Security Spotlight

Happy Holidays from all of us at!

Retention of Robbery Records

We recommend that instead of destroying robbery records you keep them to use for training purposes. When conducting robbery training, we have found that employees are more interested in what actually happened at their own institutions! Using a robbery record in training sessions will help current and new staff members to focus more on your robbery procedures when they realize it can happen where they work. If you decide to destroy robbery records, check your state retention requirements.

Most Wanted: Captured!

Serial bandit with no soul A serial bandit who committed a string of bank robberies across Central Virginia from October 18 to November 14 has been apprehended, and is facing more than bank robbery charges. Arthur Kharendzyuk, dubbed the "Soul Patch Bandit" by the FBI because of a small patch of facial hair, is believed to be responsible for five bank heists. Alerting the public that the suspect was armed and dangerous, the FBI Richmond field office offered a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the evasive thief. Kharendzyuk was arrested by Virginia Beach Police for trespassing and disorderly conduct on November 19 and released. A week later, local police received a call about a suspicious man inside a Wells Fargo Bank branch. When a detective arrived at the bank, Kharendzyuk escaped after a brief scuffle, but was apprehended in the bank's parking lot. Following his arrest, investigators were able to connect him to the five regional bank robberies. The 25-year-old was also charged with the October murder of his one-year-old son. He may have earned his moniker for the soul patch of facial hair he has, but taking the life of a child is a soulless act.

Check our Bank Robbery page for photos and information on the latest unknown bank bandits, many of them with sunglasses, hats or other head and facial coverings disguising their identity. Enforcing a no hats, hoods and sunglasses policy can help reduce the number of bandits who target your bank. Purchase No Hat Cling signs for all of your branches from the Banker Store.

Hot Topics from the Bankers Forums

There was one discussion in BankersOnline's public Security forum last month. Management may see or receive advertising about required security training, but what regulation requires security training, or is it really a requirement at all? Check out this discussion, and more here.

You'll find active discussions on more sensitive security topics in our "Private Security Forum," where bankers discuss issues out of public view. There's also a private forum that invites participation by bankers, regulators and members of law enforcement.

The private forums are the place for security officers to discuss topics like searching court dockets for information on potential employees, cash recyclers and bait money, and new hire security training. If you're a registered user of BOL's Discussion Forums, but don't see the Private - Financial Institution Personnel Only forums near the top of the Forums list, use your bank email address to send an access request to Once your request is approved, you can access the Private Security forum here.

CrimeDex Alerts

BOL CrimeDex alerts that hit our inbox in November

Temperatures have been falling and people are starting to bundle up when headed out the door. But the pace with which BOL CrimeDex alerts have been issued hasn't fallen off – proof that crooks, fraud scams, robberies and other crimes know no season.

  • Starting off the month, Capital One posted requests for identifying information on photos of account takeover suspects with fake IDs who have been able to replicate legitimate customer signatures to make fraudulent withdrawals from accounts.
  • San Diego County, CA, authorities sought information on bank accounts or safe deposit boxes of eight individuals and four businesses suspected of money laundering and fraud.
  • A search for accounts came from a state's Department of Taxation, which was looking for accounts for two individuals suspected of ID theft and tax refund fraud.
  • The Ventura County (CA) Sheriff's Office sent an alert with photos requesting help identifying a suspect who placed an overlay skimming device on a POS pad inside a Mobil gas station. The office is handling seven cases of fraudulent debit/credit card ATM withdrawals that can be traced back to the POS pad as a common point of compromise.
  • An Alabama bank warned other CrimeDex subscribers about a man who was opening bank accounts with fraudulent checks and false ID information.
  • St. Paul (MN) police sought information on accounts of two individuals in connection with a human trafficking investigation in Minnesota.
  • A California credit union sought out other institutions with card fraud cases that may have started with card skimming at La Puente, CA gas station and involved cash withdrawals at a City of Industry, CA credit union's ATM.
  • The US Postal Inspection Service originated an alert about recent thefts from postal collection boxes (the ubiquitous blue boxes for postal customers to deposit outbound mail), during which checks, cash and gift cards are stolen. The alert asked for information on accounts that may have been fraudulently opened by to subjects who were recently caught in the act of attempting to "fish" mail from a postal collection box. The accounts may have been opened with stolen checks that were "washed" and altered.
  • The Inspection Service also posted a list of 222 stolen postal money orders that are being negotiated and requested immediate contact from any financial institution where an attempt is made to negotiate one of the money orders.
CrimeDex is an invaluable resource for current information on fraud trends in any region of the country that you select. That information might help prevent a loss for your institution, assist you in resolving one of your fraud cases, or provide real-world examples to keep your security training sessions fresh and relevant. The CrimeDex service is free to all financial institutions that are registered users of BankersOnline. If you have access to our private forums, read the "CrimeDex Service FREE" notice in the second thread of the "Private - FI Personnel Only" forum.

Facebook Blog
Throughout the month, we share news-related incidents on Facebook that can be informative examples for training employees on security issues and more. We appreciate the "Likes" and encourage you to share our page with your fellow Security Officers and bankers, and ask them to "Like" us so they too can stay updated on the latest news.

November was slower than normal, but in case you missed them, you can still check out the following news items we highlighted for the month:

  • A career criminal who proudly displayed his "work" in a unique way made the prosecutor's job a lot easier. Check out this unusual case in the November 7 story we shared.
  • Two years after receiving a community hero award, the award recipient pleaded guilty to embezzlement. Get the details in our November 8 post.
  • Our November 15 post is about a robbery at a Chase Bank branch in Glencoe, IL. When faced with a robbery, would it make a difference to you if a knife or a gun was used? For some, including BOL Guru Andy Zavoina who manages our Facebook page, one MO is more frightening than the other.
  • What's one key factor to remember when a robber demands a specific amount, such as $100,000? Find out in our November 16 post.
  • Our November 17 post is a prime example of why good cameras and placement of surveillance equipment is crucial in helping get the bad guys off the streets faster.
  • If you want a picture to be used in training that says "watch out for this guy," check out our November 18 post about a masked and violent suspect.
  • On November 21, we shared a story that shows how confrontations with visitors in your bank can intensify, and why diffusing the situation is most important.
  • Also on that day, we posted about a massive Secret Service bust involving counterfeit bills, and where they originated from – which might surprise you.
  • And on that same day we posted a link about thieves who reprogrammed ATMs to spew money in Thailand and Taiwan. The FBI warns U.S. banks that it can happen here.
  • Our November 22 post is a stark reminder of just how much money can be stolen via skimming. It still comes as a surprise when that number is in the millions!
  • On November 24, we posted about a violent robbery that took place in Central Texas involving an AK-47 and shots being fired.
  • We closed out the holiday month with a bit of levity involving too much food, snake oil in the form of cream, and a potential Reg E claim for unauthorized use of a debit card.
Read about these and other informative topics on our BOL Facebook page. Be sure to "Like" the articles so we can continue to post more articles of interest to you!

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