Armed with a country-made gun and plenty of nerve, a man wearing a helmet barged into a public sector bank in Nagadevanahalli in Bidadi on the city's outskirts and took away Rs. 2.5 lakh in cash on Monday afternoon. He didn't have a getaway vehicle, the police said and added that he hijacked one instead.

The man, whose face was masked by the helmet's visor, turned up just before closing hours at the State Bank of India branch around 2.30 p.m. Brandishing the revolver, he fired at the roof to scare the customers and the staff even as he marched towards the shocked cashiers, ordering them to empty the cash — all Rs. 500 notes — into his bag.

No security guard

Bidadi police said there were four customers, two cashiers and the bank manager at the time. There was no security guard. “He fired only once. The entire operation lasted barely 10 minutes,” a police official said. No one was injured.

“He fled the scene on foot,” the police official said. After running some distance, he waylaid a multi-utility vehicle, threatened the driver at gunpoint, boarded it and made his getaway. The vehicle was later traced in Mico Layout police limits. The driver told the police that the man got off at Chandra Layout.

Interrogated

The police said that though the bank's CCTV cameras captured the robbery, it was virtually impossible to identify the man, who is described as aged below 30 and of medium build. Witnesses said he conversed in Hindi. A police source said that a suspect was being interrogated in connection with the robbery.

An SBI spokesperson said the medium-sized branch was recently inaugurated. “All our branches are covered by insurance,” the spokesperson added.

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