Bank robber makes getaway on foot
By CRAIG McTEAR
A PUSHBIKE rider has pulled off a daring bank heist in Coffs Harbour.
His target on Wednesday at 5pm was Park Beach Plaza's newly-opened Bank of Queensland branch, just as staff were closing for the day.
Two bank tellers ? women in their 40s ? and branch owner/manager, Rob Anderson, 43, were the only people in the bank when the bandit ran in.
He stood at the counter and demanded cash from one of the tellers, who handed over a bank bag containing an undisclosed amount of money, believed to be several hundred dollars.
He did not produce a weapon, and no-one was injured.
The man ran from the bank, out of the Plaza and into the car park, where he approached a man in his 60s and his daughter.
He asked them for a lift 'to anywhere', police said, but when they could only offer him the back of their utility, he changed tack and fled on foot into the night.
He was last seen running into nearby Pacific Avenue.
Police dashed en masse to the Plaza and interviewed bank staff and other witnesses.
Officers discovered the man's mountain bike which he'd hidden between two cars on his arrival at the complex, but he left it behind in his haste to flee.
Crime scene police are now examining the bike.
The bank bag, minus the cash, was found in a San Francisco Avenue mailbox.
Detectives questioned a number of suspects that night in Park Beach Road, but they didn't fit the bill, according to investigators.
However, they apprehended one of them, a 45-year-old man, for possessing a small amount of cannabis.
A bank spokesman from Brisbane confirmed the branch reopened at noon yesterday.
He said trauma counsellors had been brought in on Wednesday night to talk to the staff involved.
"We will continue to monitor how they're doing," the spokesman said.
Police had again interviewed staff yesterday morning as part of their investigations, while the bank would review its security arrangements 'as a matter of course'.
The robber is described as Caucasian in appearance, aged between 20 and 30, with a medium build, 178cm tall, with pale skin, wearing a helmet covered with a faded grey towel, a blue flannelette shirt with large checked patterns, and dark jeans.
If you saw the man, or if you have any other information which can help with the investigation, you are urged to contact Coffs Harbour detectives on 6652 0299.