- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 5, 2014

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Given the ever-growing use of debit and credit cards for even casual purchases, crime pays less than it used to in Lincoln.

Lincoln Public Safety Director Tom Casady told the Lincoln Journal Star (https://bit.ly/1bu9gmE) that crooks last year took about a quarter as much cash as they did a decade ago when robbing Lincoln retailers.

Customers are whipping out cards instead of cash so often that businesses don’t have as much money on hand nowadays, said Casady, the city’s former police chief.

“Cash has gone the way of cursive,” he said, alluding to the decline of handwriting in favor of other communication modes.

It’s rare to see anyone open up a wallet, take out a bill or two and hand them over to a clerk, Casady said.

“And when they do, you think, ‘How quaint,’” he said.

Michael Barton, who is part owner of Barton Development and its 10 Subway restaurants in Lincoln, said that every year, “We get more and more heavy on the credit cards.”

His Subways could jump from 60 percent of total sales being paid with plastic to 80 percent in five years, Barton said.

Crime changes with technology just like anything else, Casady said.

“New crimes emerge,” he said. “Crimes that used to be fairly lucrative disappear.”

And he’s happy about that.

“Retail robbery is a pretty darn dangerous crime,” Casady said. “They’re very high risk.”

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Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, https://www.journalstar.com

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