Bungling robbers flee with the float

By Francesca Ryan

Bungling robbers who held a family hostage last week during a tiger kidnapping which targeted a local bank made off with just the cashiers’ floats.

Last Wednesday morning, an armed robber disguised as a postman made his way into the home of an employee of Andersonstown’s Ulster Bank branch.  The man called to the door claiming to need a signature for a registered letter. When the employee’s sister opened the door, the robber asked for an adult and when the employee appeared, the robber produced a gun and made his way into the house.

Once over the threshold, the unmasked man was joined by a second hooded man.  The pair, who claimed they were from the ‘Republican Movement’, tied up the employee’s father and sister.  The employee was then ordered to go to his branch beside the Andersonstown Leisure Centre.

The man was later forced to hand over the cash to another member of the gang at Fallswater Street.

The gang member made off with a hold-all containing the money in the direction of Iveagh Street at approximately 9.30am on Wednesday.

The alarm was raised after the money was handed over. One of the family members was taken to hospital for a check-up, but was later released.

We’ve been told that while the robbers were expecting a massive ‘score’, they managed to escape with only the contents of the cashiers’ tills.

West Belfast MP Paul Maskey said those behind the crime were despicable.

“This entire family was under severe pressure,” he said. “The people who carried this out terrorised this man and his family and did it for selfish gains, not to free Ireland.

“This man had to leave his home with his family under armed guard and it will take them some time to get over this.

“Tiger kidnappings put a lot of strain on businesses and families and it says a lot about this gang that they would hold their own people hostage for selfish financial gain.”

Police are appealing for information and have asked anyone who witnessed any part of the incident is asked to contact detectives on 0845 600 8000.

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