Robbers Dig 100 Foot Tunnel For Bank Heist In Berlin: How Did The Robbers Get Away?

By Staff Reporter on January 14, 2013 3:01 PM EST

tunnel heist
A tunnel was discovered in a cash heist in Manchester, UK, that occurred in the same month as the Berlin bank tunnel heist (Photo: YouTube)

German police reported that a 100-foot tunnel was discovered underneath a safe deposit room of a Berlin bank.

According to Berlin police spokesman Thomas Neuendorf, the police were alerted of the early Monday break-in when a security guard saw smoke seeping from the cracks of the deposit vault.

As it turned out, the robbers created the tunnel originating from an underground garage that eventually reached the deposit room. An unknown number of deposit boxes were stolen before the gang set a fire in order to cover their escape.

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Neuendorf says the thieves involved were "very professional" and that the elaborate job must have taken the crew months to plan and complete. In fact, the construction of the tunnel features supports to properly enforce the tunnel and prevent it from caving in and burying the robbers.

The total amount of money and valuables stolen from the Berlin bank has yet to be accounted for. The robbers were not captured.

Not too far from Germany, another band of thieves pulled off a similar heist on a cash machine at the Blockbuster in the Fallowfield shopping precinct of Levenshume, Manchester, UK. A 100 feet long by 4 feet tall tunnel extended from a railway embankment before snaking under a car park and finally reaching the shop.

Detectives believe the gang may have spent up to six months digging the passageway. According to investigators, the style of the heist was very close to the one found in the action flick "Bank Job," starring Jason Statham. In the movie, the band of thieves chipped away at more than 15 inches of concrete to finally get to a cash vault.

According to investigators, the tunnel probably breached the floor of the shop sometime between 5:30 p.m. on Monday January 2 through Tuesday, January 3. However, the cash machine, which can typically hold up to £20,000, is believed to only have £6,000 at the time.

Detective Sergeant Ian Shore said at the scene: ''In all my years of service, I have never seen anything quite as elaborate as this.

''These people had obviously spent a long time plotting this crime and I doubt they would have been able to keep their plans secret for all that time, without telling others about their scheme.

''They must also have spent a lot of time in the area over the past few months, which people may have noticed.

''The financial detriment to the victim could have been a lot worse, and the offenders did not get away with as much money as I believe they may have originally hoped. The machine had limited funds available.''

Shore asked for any witness to assist the authorities in the investigation: "I would ask that anyone who may have noticed anything unusual around this Blockbuster store, or who may have seen or heard anything they think might help us with our investigation, to get in touch."

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