Thieves tunnel way into Berlin bank

2013-01-14 21:59
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Berlin - Bank robbers have pulled off a brazen heist in the German capital after digging a 30m-long  tunnel leading into the bank's vault, police said on Monday.

Once inside the Berliner Volksbank branch in the southwestern district of Steglitz they cracked open safety deposit boxes and managed to get away with an undisclosed amount, a police spokesperson said.

The tunnel, which ran from an underground car park, was only discovered after residents spotted smoke coming from the car park early on Monday and called the fire service.

The robbers are thought to have started a fire to cover their tracks, she said.

"The tunnel was professionally dug," the spokesperson said, adding it had probably taken "a while" to construct.

In 1995 four robbers used a tunnel they had dug to get into a bank in the neighbouring district of Zehlendorf and took 16 people hostage.

And an hours-long hostage drama in a Zehlendorf bank which began on 21 December ended peacefully.

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