Bank robber caught red-handed

A MAN wanted in connection with 11 armed robberies in the Albufeira area was arrested by police just 100 metres from the scene of his latest crime.

The man was found in possession of 900 euros in cash and a pistol when he was apprehended at around 9am on November 2, close to the Millennium BCP bank in Sítio da Bela Vista that had been raided moments earlier.

The man is suspected of having robbed 11 banks in Albufeira since July 2005, dressing identically each time. Always seen wearing a hooded jacket, dark glasses and a handkerchief to mask his face, the man carried a rucksack to hold the money and disguise.

The police captured the assailant, who matched the description given by witnesses, after the suspect had changed his clothing and placed it in the rucksack.

After resisting the orders of the police, which aroused greater suspicion, the man had to be physically restrained. The GNR then seized his rucksack and discovered the money and pistol.

“When he was apprehended, the suspect was strolling along the street like nothing had happened and looked like any other tourist,” said the commander of Albufeira GNR.

The suspect, originally from Barreiro (Setúbal) is 45-years-old and lives in Albufeira. According to the police, the robberies were always carried out at around the same time, between 8.45am and 9am. Albufeira GNR and the Polícia Judiciária (PJ) have had a team working together since the beginning of the summer in an effort to catch the assailant in the act.

According to the GNR, the modus operandi was identical in every raid committed; the suspect entered the bank wearing a disguise, threatened the staff with his gun, stole the money and hid somewhere to remove the disguise and place it in the rucksack.  The man is due to appear at Albufeira court this week.