Another bank robbery has at least one state official calling for stricter laws.
Police are still looking for the suspect in last night's bank robbery at Key Bank on Genesee Street in Utica.
Senator Joseph Griffo is pushing for a stricter level of punishment when it comes to bank robberies, making the crime a class c felony, which means a longer time in prison.
The goal is to also send a message to potential criminals.
In a matter of two weeks, Oneida County's law enforcement agencies responded to two separate bank robberies, one at key bank in Utica and one at the Adirondack Bank in Whitesboro.
The recent uptick has Senator Griffo pushing for a tougher law- calling to increase the penalty for robbing banks.
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"In the past there has been nothing specific to the case of a bank robbery. So it does a couple of things, it specifically states this is a crime- bank robbery and it also elevates the consequences. It brings it up to a class c felony," said Senator Griffo, (R)- 47TH District.
Griffo says the current law categorizes bank robberies the same way they would a robbery at a convenience store.
Senator Griffo says with a higher penalty for bank robberies, he believes this will prevent such crimes.
"A lot of cases people were going after financial institutions because they felt the consequences were not as severe as it could and should be. So if they were caught and convicted, they could get out pretty quickly," said Sen. Griffo.
The lowest penalty in the New York penal system is a class "E" felony, with class "A" being the highest.
Recent reports show a majority of bank robberies are committed with a demand note rather than a weapon.
With this legislation, Senator Griffo says armed robbery or not, they are looking to punish as severely as other types of crimes.
This bill was passed in the senate last year, but failed in the assembly.
It's been re-introduced this year and recently passed in the senate banks committee and will go to a full floor in the next few months.