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Police hunt would-be bank robber

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DETECTIVES are searching for a man, apparently armed with a gun, who made an unsuccessful bid to rob Barclays Bank in the Pantiles in Tunbridge Wells.

Police are now trying to trace the offender, who fled empty-handed when he realised a silent alarm had been set off. He is described as a white male, aged 20-30, 6ft tall and of medium build. He was unshaven, wearing a bobble or ski hat pulled low over his eyebrows, "John Lennon" style glasses and a dark, calf- length overcoat and scarf.

The man was first seen in the bank yesterday morning shortly after it opened, when two customers were present. He walked around but then left. At 10.40am the same man returned, at which time there were no customers in the bank.

He went to a cash desk, put a black zip-top nylon shopping bag on the ledge in front of a glass security screen and passed a note to the cashier which read: "Give me all the money please". The cashier saw what was believed to be a black hand-gun sticking out of the bag.

A silent alarm was activated and when the would-be robber realised what was happening, he ran off. The incident was captured on security cameras and detectives are now studying video tapes. They have appealed for anyone with information about the crime to come forward.

It is thought the man would have been in the Pantiles area prior to the bank opening at 10am, and anyone who recalls seeing him is asked to call Det Sgt Neil Simcox on 01732 370609 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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