Bank robber escapes with four-figure sum in taxi

Police are appealing for witnesses. Picture: Julie Bull
Police are appealing for witnesses. Picture: Julie Bull
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A BANK robber used a taxi as a getaway vehicle after asking its unwitting driver to wait outside an RBS branch while he went inside and held up staff.

The robber flagged down the black cab just a few hundred yards away from the Royal Bank of Scotland branch in St John’s Road, Corstorphine, ­yesterday morning.

After telling the driver he needed to make a quick stop at the branch, the 6ft 4in thief threatened bank tellers and made off with thousands of pounds in cash.

Clad in a beanie hat and dark-coloured jacket, the ­suspect jumped back in the taxi and got the driver to drop him off 250 yards away at an ­Iceland store.

Detectives have recovered CCTV footage of the man taking off his jacket and hat inside the food shop in a bid to change his appearance before fleeing the scene.

Officers soon traced the taxi driver through an appeal to city taxi firms and found he was unaware he had aided the ­robber’s escape.

Detective Inspector Rory Hamilton, of Corstorphine CID, is leading the investigation.

He said: “The man flagged down a taxi at the top of Station Road and was taken around 500 yards to the bank. He asked the driver to stop and wait for him while he entered the bank at around 9.30am.

“He demanded a sum of money and threatened staff who handed over cash in the thousands. No weapon was used, or threatened to be used, but he was a big guy and quite intimidating.

“He was carrying an orange bag with the word ‘innovate’ on it and there was a white Tesco plastic bag inside that.

“The man left the bank and got back in the taxi, which has taken him another 250 yards to an Iceland store on Manse Road where he got out.”

As police cars raced to the scene, the thief was trying to alter his appearance in the nearby store. The man was white and in his late 20s to early 30s and was also wearing brown trousers.

DI Hamilton said: “He went into the Iceland and was seen on CCTV taking off his jacket to reveal a white shellsuit with a black zip up the front.

“He took off his beanie hat to reveal short blond receding hair then left the shop carrying the jacket. We are now trying to trace his movements after leaving the shop.

“We traced the cab driver through an appeal to taxi firms and interviewed him. He was not involved in the robbery and did not know what was ­happening.

“Bank robberies are unusual nowadays because the security at banks is very good.”

An RBS spokeswoman said: “The safety of our customers and staff is very important, and we are working closely with the police at this time.”

The branch was closed yesterday while police carried out their investigation but was due to reopen as normal today.