AN armed thief fled a bank robbery with bundles of cash spilling from his arms after failing to bring a bag to carry his haul.
The crook escaped with almost £10,000 – stained with red security ink – after holding up the Royal Bank of Scotland branch in Craigentinny wielding a hand gun.
Cashiers shielded behind protective glass were said to have been left “traumatised” by their five-minute ordeal that saw the robber threaten staff with the firearm in front of a terrified customer.
Witnesses told how a batch of bank notes fell from his arms as he fled the branch on Craigentinny Avenue with the red dye peppering nearby Restalrig Avenue.
A local resident, who declined to be identified, told how she saw “notes scattered in Restalrig Avenue covered in what looked like red paint”.
Police said a bank security device activated on Restalrig Avenue, covering the cash and the robber in the red ink.
It is understood officers tracked piles of notes and spots of dye to Britwell Avenue where the trail went cold.
Detective Inspector Alan O’Brien said no one was hurt in the robbery which had been a “traumatic and frightening experience” for bank staff.
He said: “He’s taken possession of a sum of cash from the security tray and ran across the road clutching the cash.”
Investigators believe shoppers will have been alerted to the drama and will hold vital information that could lead to an arrest.
“He has been carrying the cash and we know that the security device has activated on Restalrig Avenue,” said DI O’Brien. “That security device has potentially contaminated his skin, potentially contaminated his clothing and the banknotes that he has carried which made up of a number of different denominations.
“We have witnesses who have seen the activation of the device. The dye is red in colour, so anybody who has possibly seen him in the aftermath of the event would be well aware that this is an unusual set of circumstances for somebody to possibly be covered in that red dye.”
Police said the clean-shaven robber fled with a “substantial quantity of cash” at the “upper end of four figures” following the raid that took place at 4.45pm on Monday evening. The suspect is described as being white, of medium or slim build, and around 6ft 3in in height.
He is thought to be around 25, and was wearing light grey bodywarmer with hood pulled over a blue baseball cap, dark baggy trousers, dark footwear and black gloves.
The robbery comes just two weeks after a gang of five men were arrested following a raid on another RBS branch in Home Street, Tollcross.
Police said the latest hold up was an “isolated incident” and not believed to be connected with any other heists.
It has not been revealed what the suspect said to bank staff or whether the man spoke with a local accent.
Detectives said they were following a “number of lines of inquiry” but would be drawn on whether organised crime gangs may have been involved. It is understood officers are scouring CCTV footage of the raid which has been handed over by Royal Bank of Scotland.