Bank robberies committed by women have been on the rise in recent years according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Crime statistics for the first quarter of 2010 show that nearly 6 percent of bank robberies for the quarter were committed by women. That number is roughly the same as it was in 2009 when the world financial crisis began and is a 25 percent increase over 2002 figures.
So what drives a woman to rob banks? In most cases, it's financial need rather than greed or thrill-seeking, law enforcement officials say. But not always as you'll see in the following slides. In all cases, though, it's a felony, punishable by up to 26 years in prison. And the FBI catches three out of four bank robbers.
Here, we take a look at some of the most notorious female bank robbers of all time. From the 19th century through 2010, here are 10 women who've kept law enforcement and the banking industry on their toes.
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By Constance Parten, Senior Producer, CNBC