Man Hunted After Forcing Taxi Driver To Rob Bank

12 November 2015, 13:01

Police are hunting a thief who abducted a taxi driver and then forced him to rob a bank for him.

The man was picked up by a taxi in The Avenue, Lochgelly, Fife, at around 12.40pm on Wednesday and made the driver take him to the Bank of Scotland in Mitchelston Industrial Estate, Kirkcaldy.

The driver was then "forced to enter the bank and present a note to the staff demanding money'', Police Scotland said.

A cashier handed over a four-figure sum to the driver and the thief then made off with the cash.

Emergency services were called to the scene and the taxi driver was taken away by police officers while the area was searched.

Initial reports from the bank described how a possible explosive device was involved and nearby schools and shops were locked down while officers investigated the scene.

Bomb disposal teams scoured the area but they later confirmed no explosives were involved in the incident, police said.

The thief is described as 5ft 6in with a heavy build, and he has an Eastern European accent.

He was wearing a dark green baseball cap, a dark green scarf, a dark blue jacket, tracksuit bottoms and sunglasses.

Police believe he may have been in another taxi earlier in the day in Lochgelly.

Superintendent Derek McEwan said: "I would like to offer a reassurance to the public that all actions of the police yesterday were done to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our communities.

"I would also like to praise the courage and bravery of the taxi driver and staff within the Bank of Scotland who remained calm during this entire incident.

"Officers will be in Kirkcaldy and Lochgelly offering further reassurance and carrying out more inquiries today, and will be available to speak to anyone who has any information which could assist our investigation.''

Detective Inspector Charlie Duncan, who is leading the investigation, said: "I am particularly interested to trace any taxi drivers who may have taken a hire to the Lochgelly area yesterday who matched this description.

"We are not certain how this individual came to be in that area, but due to the location it is unlikely that he walked there.

"We would also be keen to trace any taxi drivers or members of the public who may have seen a man fitting this description leaving the Kirkcaldy area any time from 1.30pm following the incident at the bank.

"Contact Kirkcaldy CID on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.''