Police talked a man out of robbing a bank after he had taken nine hostages.
He was arrested for attempting to rob a Bank of Communications branch at Lucky Plaza in Sha Tin, Ming Pao Daily reported Friday.
The would-be robber, surnamed Lau, 45, entered the bank alone after 4 p.m. Thursday, carrying two bottles of paint thinner and a lighter.
He broke one bottle of thinner on the floor and threatened to set the place on fire, then took all nine members of the bank’s staff hostage.
“I lost HK$3 million and am heavily in debt,” Lau, who reportedly has a triad background and criminal record, cried out.
Lau yelled at a courier who happened to be delivering a parcel to the bank: “Can’t you see a robbery is taking place? Get out of here!”
Three police constables rushed to the scene and, after over an hour of negotiation, persuaded Lau to turn himself in.
He agreed at first to let seven bank tellers leave, then freed two female customer service officers later.
Lau was arrested for attempted robbery and false imprisonment.
The report cited unnamed sources as saying Lau could have been seeking arrest to avoid his creditors, as he did not wear a mask and asked bank staff to call the police.
Sha Tin district police Chief Inspector Siu Man-hon said Lau was probably acting on his own.
A Bank of Communications representative confirmed that no one was injured and that the bank did not suffer any loss.
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