Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Bank Raiders Drop in for a Huge Haul

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Bank Raiders Drop in for a Huge Haul

Article excerpt

Byline: By Brenda Hickman

Reward offered to catch ceiling gang

Bandits dropped in, literally, to terrorise city bank staff and grab tens of thousands of pounds.

Details of the audacious raid at the HSBC branch, in Gosforth High Street, in Newcastle, emerged today as a reward was offered for information which leads to the gang's capture.

A pair of balaclava-clad robbers, wearing dark clothes, dropped in through the ceiling, taking cashiers by surprise.

The duo had waited in empty next door commercial premises for the right time to strike, shortly after the bank closed to the public. Then they staged an SAS-style operation to crawl through the roof space and cut a hole into the bank ceiling big enough for the pair to slot through.

They threatened staff with a crowbar and a baseball bat before grabbing cash and fleeing via a rear door.

Acting Det Insp Mark Appleby, of Newcastle CID, said: "A substantial reward has been offered by the bank for information which leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.

"Although there was a degree of planning involved, the robbers took the risk of being trapped in the premises or being stuck in rush-hour traffic.

"It was a shock for the staff, but fortunately no-one was hurt during the incident."

A stolen silver Mercedes C180 Kompressor, with a 2004 number plate, was parked unattended behind the bank prior to the raid. It is not known if the pair had an accomplice driver.

Det Insp Appleby said: "The vehicle hasn't been found so we are appealing for anyone who may have seen it being abandoned or witnesses who were in the area of Gosforth High Street at the time to contact CID at Etal Lane Police Station. …

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