‘Stand back or we’ll shoot’

A gang armed with automatic weapons broke into a bank in the southeastern town of Åtvidaberg early on Friday morning, firing shots and leaving a burning car at the scene of the crime.

'Stand back or we'll shoot'

According to police, the attackers left the scene in a car heading northwest toward Linköping.

The bank had not yet opened for business when the thieves drove a car through the bank’s main entrance.

Approximately twenty employees were present at the time, but none were injured.

One member of the management team was in the bank at the time.

“I heard a crashing sound and saw a car drive straight through the main doors. I understood that it wasn’t just a regular customer and rushed over to the police station, which is about ten metres away from here,” he told TT.

He did not know whether the robbers had succeeded in stealing any money.

One witness was on her way to have her hair cut when she saw the robbers leaving the bank.

“I saw four masked robbers running out of the bank and screaming at each other. All of them were carrying sub-machine guns and some of them were speaking in broken Swedish.

“They threatened people who were standing in the square, saying: ‘Stand back or we’ll shoot’. I got the feeling they wouldn’t hesitate to start shooting,” she told TT.

The witness saw a Volvo 350 in flames outside the bank. The attackers fled the scene in a red car which she believed to be a Volkswagen Passat. The woman said she had not been frightened by what she had seen.

“No, I was mostly annoyed because I thought I might miss my hairdresser’s appointment. First I thought it was some sort of joke but now I think I think it’s a pity I didn’t have a camera with me,” she said.

A second witness also ran into the masked men outside the bank. She watched as they ran in and out of the building threatening people with automatic weapons.

“He screamed at people to get back,” she told TV4.

“I thought they were filming a movie at first so I wasn’t even afraid. I saw the one robber on watch outside the bank, so he must have seen me,” she added.

The witness reported seeing at least four robbers, all masked and with automatic weapons. She also saw them leave the area in a red car.