Police probe double hit on banks

PUBLISHED : Friday, 25 April, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 25 April, 2003, 12:00am

A gunman was suspected to have hit two banks barely 300 metres apart in Kwun Tong within the space of 10 minutes yesterday, the second with heavily-armed police in the vicinity.

As officers wearing bullet-proof vests made their enquiries inside Shanghai Commercial Bank in Hong Ning Road, where a robbery had been reported at about 4.45pm, an armed robber made off with $24,300 after holding up the nearby Kwong On Bank in Hip Wo Street.

Kwun Tong divisional commander Superintendent Paul Stripp said the two robberies were probably carried out by the same man because the descriptions in both cases were very similar and the banks were so close together.

Police were called to Shanghai Commercial Bank after a man wearing a face mask and a cap threatened a 22-year-old teller with what appeared to be a pistol.

'The culprit in his 20's fled empty-handed when the woman employee squatted down and pressed the emergency alarm,' a police spokesman said.

As officers responded to the call, a robber threatened two Kwong On Bank employees, also with a pistol-like object.

'He ran out of the bank when the two staff handed over the cash,' the spokesman said.

Police mounted a manhunt and set up roadblocks, but their search was in vain. Mr Stripp said officers were last night viewing CCTV footage from the banks.