IN JUST seven months, no less than five bank robberies have taken place in the Albufeira area, with the town’s Banif branch being the subject of three separate hold-ups. Unsurprisingly, the situation is causing great alarm in the sector, particularly among bank counter staff.
The most recent incident took place on Monday of this week (February 20) when a man, thought to be aged around 40, threatened counter staff with an umbrella, disguised as a gun, forcing them to hand over the money in the tills (around 1,000 euros).
The masked assailant, who waited until the bank was empty before striking, is said to have spoken in Portuguese with a distinctly Brazilian accent. The attack took place at around 11am. On fleeing with the cash, the robber disappeared through the maze of small streets behind the bank. The GNR were called immediately after the robbery, but due to the nature of the incident, the case has been handed over to the Polícia Judiciária.
This was the fifth bank robbery to take place in Albufeira since July 2005 and the third to take place at this particular branch of Banif over the same period – on July 6, 12,000 euros were stolen and, on December 26, around 5,000 euros were stolen. Both were armed robberies and the perpetrator of the second attack has been caught.