Elderly customer held hostage by bank robber

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 15 April, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 15 April, 2007, 12:00am

A 72-year-old man was taken hostage and threatened with what he thought was a pistol during a bank hold-up in Sham Shui Po yesterday.

Ng Yuen-sum was depositing money in the Wing Hang Bank in Cheung Sha Wan Road about noon when a man wearing a mask and brown-framed glasses grabbed him from behind and pressed what felt like a pistol to his neck. He then demanded money from bank staff.

Police said Mr Ng was the only customer in the bank and was waiting for a teller to give him a receipt for his money when the hold-up occurred.

There were more than 10 staff on duty but no security guard.

'The robber took the elderly man hostage by pointing the pistol-like object to his neck from behind and demanding money from bank staff,' one investigator said.

'Two bank tellers threw money into the tray on the counter and the robber snatched the money and stuffed it into his trouser pockets before fleeing.'

A bank employee alerted police, who searched the area.

Mr Ng was not hurt in the incident.

An officer said it was rare that a customer was taken hostage in a bank robbery in the city.

Last night, crime-squad detectives from Sham Shui Po police station were checking footage of the bank's security cameras for clues to the identity of the robber, who was between 20 and 30, about 1.6 metres tall and of strong build.

As well as a green face mask, he wore a white worker's glove on his left hand, a long-sleeved beige shirt, light blue jeans and a pair of white sports shoes. He carried a black shoulder bag.

Anyone with information about the robbery can contact any police station or call 2746 3456.

According to police figures, there were no bank robberies in the first two months of this year. There were 23 last year.