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Khalda alleged bank robber arrested

By Rana Husseini - Apr 02,2018 - Last updated at Apr 02,2018

AMMAN — Police on Sunday announced the arrest of a man who allegedly robbed a bank in Amman at gun point earlier in the day and escaped with JD60,000 in cash.

The suspect was arrested while attempting to leave the country via Queen Alia International Airport, Police Spokesperson Lt. Col. Amer Sartawi said.

“We received information that the suspect was driving a certain car model without a licence plate. We formed a special team and, within hour, than man was in custody,” Sartawi said.

The police official said the “entire stolen cash was retrieved as well as a gun that was with the suspect”.

Police also seized a vehicle that they believe was used in the alleged robbery.

The suspect arrived at the Arab Islamic Bank branch located in a busy market in Khalda at around 9:00am, according to a statement by the Public Security Department.

“The suspect robbed the bank at gun point and fled with a vehicle that was parked on the other side of the road,” the statement added.

A witness who was standing at the door of his shop next to the bank said he saw a “woman rushing out of the bank and screaming 'call the police. The bank is being robbed'”.

“Less than a minute after, I saw a man wearing a helmet rushing out of the bank with a bag and crossing to the other side of the street before leaving quickly in a vehicle,” the witness, who preferred not to be identified, told The Jordan Times.

The witness’s story was corroborated with a video that circulated on Sunday showing a man parking a vehicle on the main street, then exiting the car while wearing a helmet and crossing to the other direction.

Minutes later, the man is seen running back towards the vehicle with a bag in his hand, then driving away quickly.

The suspect was referred to the State Security Court prosecutor for further questioning, according to officials.

The bank manager and employees refused to comment on the incident, only saying that no one was injured in the incident.

The bank was operating normally a few hours following the incident.

This is the fourth robbery to take place on financial institutes in the capital since the beginning of the year.

Three banks were robbed in various parts of Amman in January and February. Two of the three robbers were arrested and one, who escaped with JD98,000 in cash, remains at large.

In early March, the State Security Court sentenced a man who robbed the Arab Bank at gun point to 15 years in prison.

Following the issuing of that verdict, Presiding judge Col. Mohammad Afif told The Jordan Times that the court decided to hand the defendant the maximum punishment “because of the perilous nature of his crime and its potential harm to the economy”.

“What the defendant did was a dangerous act that caused fear among the public and bank employees and endangered their lives, so we strongly believe that he deserves the maximum punishment in this case,” Afif said.

Following the third robbery in February, police announced that new security measures had been adopted in cooperation with banks and other financial institutions, which include strengthening their security measures.
The police official added that “special police forces were tasked with examining all banks and studying the weak spots to ensure there are no security breaches”.

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