24/02/2006

Substantial amount of cash stolen in Belfast bank heist

Around £200,000 has been stolen from a bank in the Carlisle Circus area of Belfast, in a robbery similar to the 2004 Northern Bank heist.

There are unconfirmed reports that a family member of the Ulster Bank employee was held hostage as the raid was carried out.

Police were alerted to the crime at around 10am.

It is unknown if there was any paramilitary involvement in the incident.

Elsewhere, a sum of money has been stolen during an armed robbery in south Belfast.

Security staff who were making a delivery to the Northern Bank on the Upper Lisburn Road were held at knifepoint and forced to hand over the cash box.

The staff were left shaken by their ordeal, however no one was injured in the attack.

The robber escaped in a silver Vauxhall Corsa car along Grangeville Drive, in the direction of west Belfast.

The car was later found abandoned at Ladybrook Park, after it collided with a bus.

Police have appealed for anyone with any information on either incident to contact them on 0845 600 8000, or on the Crimestoppers number on 0800 555 111.

(EF/SP)

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