PHILIPSBURG:--- Scores of police officers were at the Scotia Bank in Philpsburg Friday morning clearing the building and searched for a bomb. Information reaching SMN News states that an employee at the bank received a bomb threat from a male person who entered the bank with a letter stating there is a bomb in the building.
Police Spokesman Ricardo Henson said that around 10:30 am on Friday morning a male entered the bank, he approached one of the tellers and gave her a letter and also demanded monies from the teller. Henson said the teller became scared and handed over an unknown amount of monies and then proceeded to open the letter where it stated that there was a bomb inside the building. Henson said police was called and they evacuated the building, then search it to see if there was any bomb inside the building. The police spokesman said no bomb was found but police were busy checking the camera surveillance system to see if they could identify the culprit because he had already left the building when police reached the scene.It should be noted that Scotia Bank was the first bank that got robbed during business hours on St. Maarten. Shortly after that incident the Police Force on St. Maarten organized a course for businesses and banks where the intention was to teach these persons how to handle incidents such as armed robberies. Even though Scotia Bank was the first victim on St Maarten SMN News understands that they bluntly refused to participate in the course citing that their head offices is in Barbados and unless they get approval from their head office they could not participate or contribute towards such programs. Another set back police are having when it comes to capturing criminals that commits broad day light robberies is that most businesses on the island do not have proper working surveillance cameras.
Robbery at bank in Philipsburg
On Friday, February 5th just before 11.00 a.m. a phone call came into the Emergency Dispatch Center informing them of a robbery which took place shortly before at the Scotia Bank located on the Back Street/Cannegieter Street in Philipsburg. The information received was that an unknown man had walked into the bank and handed one of the tellers a note in which he demanded money.
It is unclear if the suspect was in the possession of a weapon or not. The information in the note also was that an explosive device was placed in the vicinity of the bank. At one point the teller handed the suspect an undisclosed amount of cash and the suspect then left bank not drawing any attention to him self.
After the suspect left the bank the police was immediately informed and numerous patrols and detectives were sent to investigate was had taken place. The bank was immediately evacuated and a search for the explosive device was done, but nothing was found.
Members of the Special Robbery Unit Immediately started their investigation by talking to potential witnesses and gathering other information. The investigation is in its preliminary stages and more details or information is unavailable at present.
The police department however is making an appeal to the general public to assist in giving information in connection with this investigation. The numbers to call are # 9300 or 54-22222. The information that is giving might just be what the investigators are looking for to bring those responsible for the criminal act to justice.
KPSM Police Report.