HOUSTON -

The Houston area is on track to have a record number of bank robberies, FBI officials said.

According to the FBI Bank Robbery Task Force, there have been 80 bank robberies in the area in 2012.

In 2011, there were only 40 bank robberies in the whole year.

"Those numbers scare you because it's not even the middle of the year," shopper Cristina Martinez said.

Some criminal experts said the robberies may be on the rise because bank security guards are not going to open fire in a crowded bank lobby, and banks clearly have a policy to hand over the cash.

FBI officials said more banks now have longer hours and convenient locations, like ones inside grocery stores, which provide thieves with more alluring targets.

Anyone with information regarding any bank robbery is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.