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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Twenty-six banks and credit unions in the Springfield area have posted notices asking their customers, upon entering the institutions, to remove their hats and sunglasses, according to wire service reports. The Springfield police department has backed the program, which the services reported are based on a similar program in Massachusetts. The institutions have posted the signs in the wake of 14 robberies this year, double last year’s average, the report said. “I think it would make all tellers feel safer,” Jeannie Ewing, a branch manager of a Telcomm Credit Union branch reported, adding that an unfamiliar face can make her wary these days. FBI Special Agent Dave Burlew said it could make some robbers think twice and could give authorities a full view of a robber’s face from security images. “I think it’s a simple request,” estimated James Holstein, president and chief executive officer of Old Missouri National Bank. “Customers will complain. But serious complaints? No. When they realize we are doing it for their safety as much as our safety, I think they will cooperate.”

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