Gunman suspected of staging sixth holdup

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 21 November, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 21 November, 2007, 12:00am

An armed robber held two customers at gunpoint in a bungled bank heist in Tin Shui Wai yesterday.

He fled empty-handed after two Dah Sing Bank tellers ignored his demands and raised the alarm.

Police believe he is the same man who staged five armed hold-ups in the past week. 'The man has dared to strike six times in a week,' a police source said. 'It is possible he is desperate for money.'

The source said that, as in the other cases, the man wore a cap and a surgical mask and gloves. He entered the bank in Chung Fu Shopping Centre, Tin Fu Court, at 1.05pm.

'He first grabbed a female customer, pointing what appeared to be a pistol at a teller and declared a robbery. The teller immediately squatted down,' a police investigator said.

'He released the woman and grabbed a male customer, pointing the pistol-like object at another teller and demanding money. This teller pressed the alarm.'

The gunman freed the man and ran from the bank. No one was injured and no money was stolen.

Officers carrying shotguns and wearing bullet-proof vests set up road blocks and launched a manhunt, but no one was arrested.

The manager of the bank, surnamed Tang, said: 'Our staff here pressed the button for the alarm bell when one of them saw the man.'

In an attempted robbery at a petrol station in Fanling on Monday night, a woman employee mocked the robber, waved aside his gun and told him to stop playing. He fled in his car after telling her: 'You really don't know what death is.'

Last Wednesday a gunman escaped with HK$17,500 from a Jockey Club betting centre in Pat Heung. An hour later two pawnshops were targeted within minutes of each other in Yau Ma Tei, but the gunman fled empty-handed in both cases.

On Thursday a gunman fled with HK$33,000 from the Tuen Mun branch of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China.