Saturday, November 10, 2001

Remember 9-11-01

FBI shifts workload, won’t
probe most bank jobs

By Leila Fujimori

The FBI will no longer be investigating most Oahu bank robberies, according to an internal Honolulu Police Department memorandum.

The memo, distributed last week to robbery detectives and some Criminal Investigation Division lieutenants, states that the FBI will be handling only "special cases" of bank robberies but does not detail what constitutes a special case.

"We will be available any time the HPD will request our assistance in bank robberies," FBI spokeswoman Pam McCullough said yesterday.

"We will continue to respond to bank robberies as our resources permit, and we will continue to coordinate bank robbery investigations and the prosecution of the subjects with the Honolulu Police Department."

She said the FBI would be working bank robberies on a case-by-case basis.

"We want to do what is in the best interest of the community, and we will work with the Honolulu Police Department in order to do that," McCullough said.

The FBI, as well as police detectives, have been responding to numerous reports of suspicious mail in Hawaii, as in the rest of the country.

An FBI official in Washington told the Star-Bulletin that out of the FBI's 11,000 agents nationally, 4,000 are working on the investigations of the Sept. 11 and anthrax attacks.

Police spokeswoman Michelle Yu said the HPD will continue to work closely with the FBI and is working on procedures to handle bank robberies. Yu would not address specifically how the handling of bank robberies has changed.

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