DBAYYEH, Lebanon: An armed man robbed the Banque Libano-Française branch in Dbayyeh north of Beirut Tuesday morning, fleeing with an estimated $100,000, security sources told The Daily Star.
A man wearing a motorcycle helmet stepped into the bank, fired a single gunshot in the air and threatened to kill anyone who moved. He demanded bank employees open the safe, which contained $100,000, bank sources said.
The robber placed the money into a bag and left the premises, security sources said. A getaway driver, also helmeted, was waiting for him on a motorcycle without a license plate.
They fled in the direction of Nahr al-Mot, north of Beirut, sources added.
Police cars were parked outside the bank entrance Tuesday afternoon and plainclothes police officers moved in and out of the crime scene.
The bank declined to give details about the robbery, but a bank worker who would not give his name said police were reviewing security camera footage as part of their investigation.
“It’s just that a robbery occurred and that’s it,” the bank worker said. “Police are watching security video right now to determine what happened,” he said.
Tuesday’s robbery comes after another attempted bank robbery last week when a man tried to rob a Bank Audi branch in Beirut. The man grabbed a wad of cash from a bank teller and tried to flee but was captured by security guards before exiting the bank.
Before that the last bank robbery in the country came in January when two masked gunmen robbed a Byblos Bank in Choueifat and escaped.
Earlier this month, burglars broke into a house in north Lebanon and stole more than $35,000 worth of jewelry.
The Lebanese military and Army are set to begin a security month this week with the aim of arresting people with outstanding warrants and ticketing vehicles without proper paperwork.
The sweep comes after an increase in armed robberies of cars and banks across the country. The plan was panned by premier Najib Mikati who said security doesn’t come a month at a time.