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Images released in bid to trace bank robber who abducted taxi driver

The robber abducted the driver and made him enter the bank with what appeared to be a bomb.

Volkswagen van: The vehicle was seen just before a Kirkcaldy bank robbery.
Volkswagen van: The vehicle was seen just before a Kirkcaldy bank robbery.

Police have released images of a van and a holdall they believe were involved in an abduction and robbery at a Fife bank. 

They are appealing for any members of the public who recognise the items to come forward as they continue to hunt the man behind the incidents, which took place in Kirkcaldy on Wednesday. 

Armed police and a bomb disposal unit were called to the Bank of Scotland at Carberry Place, next to the town's Asda supermarket, at around 1.30pm after reports of a robbery.

A man with an Eastern European accent got into a taxi on The Avenue in Lochgelly and asked to be driven to the Bank of Scotland branch in the Mitchelston Industrial Estate.

The taxi driver was threatened with a weapon then forced to go into the bank with what appeared to be an explosive device and present a note demanding money.

He then walked out of the bank with a four-figure sum of cash which he handed to the robber, who made off from the scene.

Police recovered the blue holdall used by the robber and also found footage of a Volkswagen Caddy van seen in the Mitchelston Industrial Estate on CCTV.

They now want to speak to the owner of the van.


Armed robbery at Kirkcaldy Bank of Scotland. Pic from broadcast on scene. Uploaded on Nov 11 2015.
Armed robbery at Kirkcaldy Bank of Scotland. Pic from broadcast on scene. Uploaded on Nov 11 2015. STV

Investigation

Officers are continuing to carry out door to door enquiries in the area and analyse local CCTV footage. Detective inspector Charlie Duncan is leading the investigation. 

He said: "I would like to thank the members of the public who have come forward so far, in particular the assistance afforded to us by the local taxi firms.

"I am keen to speak with anyone who may have seen a male in the Lochgelly area between noon and 1pm on November 11. 

"I have released a photograph of a holdall used during the robbery, which I know the male responsible was carrying before he entered the taxi, which drove him from Lochgelly to Kirkcaldy. 

"It is an old JAKO, J1 sports holdall, which is no longer on sale. I would urge anyone who has seen one similar belonging to a person they may have concerns around to come forward. 

“We are also interested in tracing the owner of a black Volkswagen Caddy van seen entering Mitchelston Industrial Estate directly behind the taxi used in the robbery. The vehicle is seen to park in the service area near to Martin Plant Hire on Carberry Place at about 1.10pm and leave again about half an hour later.  

"The van is a 2004-2010 model with a distinctive tailgate opposed to the more conventional double rear doors. 

"I need to eliminate this vehicle from our enquiries. On leaving the estate the driver turned left onto Earn Road and may have been working in the area."





Sports bag: The culprit used this blue holdall during the robbery.
Sports bag: The culprit used this blue holdall during the robbery.

Witness

The man believed to be behind the robbery is described as white, 5ft 6in tall, of heavy build and wearing a dark green baseball cap, a dark green scarf, a thick dark blue jacket, tracksuit bottoms and sunglasses. 

Police believe a member of the public may have walked past him without realising it. 

DI Duncan added: "I want to speak with a member of the public who walked past the snack van, parked directly outside the BMW garage on Carberry Road at around 1.20pm and walked past the taxi, which was parked further up Carberry Road. 

"I believe the person responsible was still seated within the taxi when this male passed or may even have been exiting as he was approached. It is vitally important we trace this person, as there is no CCTV covering this area. 

"The male is about 20-25 years of age. He was wearing a very distinctive two-tone blue and white jacket or tracksuit top, with a white panel around the waist. He was also wearing blue jeans and trainers."

Anyone with information that can help the police with their inquiries is asked to phone 101 or report information anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.







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