Three local youths are in police custody following a bank robbery at knifepoint on Friday in broad daylight in Nicosia.
According to local reports, three young Greek Cypriots were arrested on Friday in connection with an armed robbery in Strovolos, after a young male armed with a knife robbed an AstroBank branch.
The suspects were identified as two 20-year-olds and a 17-year-old just three months shy of his 18th birthday, while reports said the underage suspect was spotted in a nearby riverbed just after the incident.
Local media said a young man pretending to be a customer entered the bank around 12 noon and demanded money from the tellers at knifepoint, with initial reports saying he managed to get approximately €30,000 before fleeing the scene.
Nobody allowed to leave bank
Reports also said shocked customers were watching in horror as tellers cooperated with the robber, while a bank press release later said no customers or staff had been injured during the robbery. Employees were said to have followed protocol and procedures correctly, according to the company.
But nobody was allowed to leave the bank after officers who rushed to the scene ordered a complete lockdown, with both customers and staff stranded inside as police investigators were taking statements.
Based on security camera footage and witness statements, police officers turned their attention to Pedieos River nearby, with dozens of law endorsement agents searching the area.
Suspect’s lost shoe gave him away
Almost two hours after the robbery, one of the officers taking part in a manhunt in the riverbed spotted a single shoe which led to the discovery of a 17-year-old male hiding in the bushes.
Reports said the youth had a large amount of money in his possession, along with a knife, mask, and gloves inside a gym bag.
Police said they were investigating multiple offences including conspiracy to commit a felony, armed robbery, illegal knife possession, and possession of stolen property.
Following the first arrest, police later located two other individuals, described as 20-year-old Greek Cypriots, who were also arrested in connection with the case.
The three suspects appeared Saturday before a Nicosia district judge, who ordered them remanded in custody for five days.