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Bali Bank Branched Robbed by Armed Thugs

Criminality Cranks Up a Notch in Bali as Local BRI Branch Hit by Bank Robbers Stealing US$29,000 in Broad Daylight.

(10/26/2009) Bali's criminal elements are getting bolder, a fact demonstrated last week on Friday, October 23, 2009, when bank robbers conducted a daytime heist at the West Gatot Subroto Branch of the Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI).

The first armed robbery of a Bali bank in recent memory, five thieves entered the bank at approximately 2:45 p.m. where they tied the hands and gagged the mouths of the bank's four employees.

According to local press reports, the bank was preparing to close for the day when two neatly dressed men entered the premises, posing as bank customers. A short time later, two more men arrived in a silver-colored Xenia, joining the two who had arrived earlier.

Either by coincidence or as part of their plan, the electricity to the bank suddenly failed rendering the bank's CCTV cameras non-operational. What followed was made easier for the criminals by the fact that no bank guard is assigned at the bank branch.

The robbers quickly set about their work. A knife was directed at one of the female bank's employees as the robbers tied-up and gagged the entire staff, menacing all by saying: "If you scream, it means you're ready to die."

Police theorize that five people were involved in the robbery, with the fifth standing-by as a driver outside the bank.

The thieves made off with an estimated Rp. 290 million (US$29,000) and one laptop computer worth Rp. 5 million (US$500).

Police continue to investigate the case.