Limassol police were seeking two men on Friday whose plans to rob a bank were foiled earlier in the day when a sledgehammer was found hidden in bushes behind the branch.
CID chief Ioannis Soteriades said they were alerted at around 8.30am by staff at the Bank of Cyprus branch in the Amathounda area who spotted a sledgehammer in the bushes.
The particular kind of tool has been used in the past to smash through locked bank doors.
Police patrols descended on the area and placed the branch under surveillance. At around 9am, officers noticed two men with helmets on a large motorcycle approaching the scene.
They tried to intercept them but they managed to accelerate away before crashing into a car on Onisilos Street and fleeing on foot.
Eyewitnesses told police they saw the suspects fleeing north.
Police launched a manhunt in the area with the help of dogs. Reports suggested one of the suspects boarded a car with fake plates.
“We are still in the early stages, the only sure thing we can say is that a crime has been prevented,” Soteriades said.
The CID chief did not rule out the suspects being the same people wanted by police for similar cases.
The motorcycle was later found to have been reported stolen in Nicosia.