Two individuals robbed a Limassol co-op bank at gunpoint shortly after 11am on Wednesday, making off with €14,980 police said.
The two robbers, who used motorcycle helmets to cover their faces, used a sledgehammer to break the entrance and gain entry into the east Limassol co-op at the village of Pyrgos. The pair arrived at the scene on a high-powered motorcycle.
Using a sawed-off hunting shotgun and a sledgehammer, “the perpetrators managed to take cash from three tills and using the same motorcycle, they fled the scene heading east,” Limassol CID chief Ioannis Soteriades said.
Police said they are examining the possibility that the motorcycle used in the crime was the one reported stolen on July 21 in Limassol.
There were six employees and two customers inside the branch at the time; one worker hid under the counter and activated the alarm while others sought refuge in adjacent offices.
A resident of the area noticed the goings-on and called 112 on his mobile while at the same time he shouted at the robbers that the police were on their way in a bid to scare them off.
One of the robbers, who remained at the entrance, turned his weapon towards the resident three times, according to his statement.
Police cordoned-off the scene and launched a manhunt with the help of a helicopter.
The perpetrators were described as young individuals but police had no other leads as they remained silent during the heist.
The branch’s closed-circuit TV footage is being examined in search of evidence that may help identify the robbers.
The particular branch had been targeted by robbers before. On March 18, 2014, a would-be robber abandoned the scene after failing to breach the entrance, which is controlled from the inside.