Fifth Third Bank Security in Auburn Gresham Has Some Feeling ‘Targeted'

Customers at the Auburn Gresham Fifth Third branch were greeted by a security guard Friday morning--but the bank was met with an ultimatum.

Residents say there is usually just a set of locked glass doors and a warning keeping them from entering if they are wearing anything made of metal.

"It was a shock to me because I didn’t feel welcome, I felt like I was being targeted, and I was being targeted to get my own money," customer Sharon Miles said.

The doors incorporate a metal detector. You enter, get scanned, then an operator decides if you can pass.

"This bank is concerned my constituents are going to rob them when they are robbing my community of their dignity," said Ill. Sen. Jacqueline Collins of the 16th District.

Rev. Michael Pfleger came to the branch to issue an ultimatum Friday.

"We are giving them until the end of December to remove these doors, or we are calling people in Chicago to take their money out of Fifth Third Bank, and tell them if you don’t respect us then we are not going to keep our money in your banks," Pfleger said.

But Fifth Third says there have been five robberies or attempts at this branch in the last five years and the doors are being installed for safety.

"It protects everybody inside the bank, it protects our clients, our customers and our employees," said bank spokesman Andrew Hayes.

But customers like Carlos Nelson, of the Greater Auburn Gresham Development Corporation, say the enhanced security specifically at the Auburn Gresham bank and not at other branches is disheartening.

"It's not about the people at Fifth Third Bank, its about this situation that we have to experience each and every day," he said.

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