Police launch search for bank robber

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UPDATED: An armed, blond man wearing a black motorcycle suit robbed a bank in downtown Stavanger on Wednesday after first attempting an armed robbery outside a bank in Sandnes, south of Stavanger. Witnesses said the man escaped in a white Fiat Doblo that had stolen license plates.

The drama began around 9:30 Wednesday morning outside the Sandnes Sparebank in Sandnes, reported Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). The suspect, according to the bank’s security director Sune Madland, “tried to rob a money courier van that was on its way to us from Loomis.”

The man threatened the guard driving the van after it had stopped outside the bank, but then ran off, according to witnesses. Police cordoned off the street where the bank is located, Langgata, along with the area around a nearby hostelry that the robber was seen entering. Four persons inside the small hotel were apprehended but later released.

An hour later came an alarm that the SR-Bank near the cathedral in downtown Stavanger was being robbed. Police believe it was the same man, given descriptions from witnesses. He was said to be around 30 years old, with short blond hair and a fair complexion.

This time the robber was successful and made off with an undisclosed amount of cash. The vehicle he drove had license plates stolen from a Citröen Berlingo that was among the fleet of a local rental firm.

A car matching the description of the getaway vehicle was reported seen driving north from Stavanger towards Randaberg. “We have lots of patrols out looking now,” Magnus Jåtun of the Rogaland Police district told NRK. The car was later found abandoned near Stokkavannet in Stavanger, and police were examining it to collect evidence. They were also searching the area where the car was found.

Police were also calling for tips from the public, to phone number 51 89 90 00.

newsinenglish.no/Nina Berglund