'Bomb' turns out to be wood, wire

2010-01-26 20:44

Johannesburg - A man who held up a bank in a mall in Midrand on Tuesday by threatening to detonate a "bomb" attached to his waist, had bits of wood and wires strapped to him, police said.

Senior Superintendent Eugene Opperman said the man entered a Standard Bank at Sandridge Mall in the late afternoon.

He threatened to detonate what he said was a bomb strapped to his waist, if staff did not comply with his orders.

Meanwhile police were notified about the situation.

When they arrived on the scene the man, in his early forties, had put money into the boot of his car which was outside the bank.

The man told police: "Stay away from me because I've got an explosive device."

He said bomb experts and negotiators were then called onto the scene while other police officers kept the man in the parking area.

"Negotiators spoke to him and task force members tactically held the man and inspected him.

"It was found to be a dummy bomb. It is a couple of wooden bricks and some wires."

Opperman said the man would appear in Midrand Magistrate's Court on Thursday on charges of armed robbery and making a false bomb threat.