NEWS

Bulldozer used in bank heist

A gang of robbers smashed down the entrance to bank outside Hania, Crete, yesterday, using a bulldozer and sealing off road access to the area by placing stolen cars as barricades, police said. The robbers broke into a branch of ATEbank in the village of Kalives at about 4.30 a.m. and then hoisted a safe weighing half a ton onto a small truck. The safe is estimated to have contained about 200,000 euros while the gang also emptied 130,000 euros from the ATM machine. In a bid to gain more time to escape, the gang had blocked roads with cars and construction equipment. They also shot out the tires of a patrol car which approached the scene, police added. Four men were seen taking part in the theft but authorities believe that more people were involved in what they called a well-organized operation. Local residents told police they mistook the shots for celebratory gunfire, common at weddings in Crete.