SINGAPORE - A robbery took place at the Standard Chartered bank branch in Holland Village on Thursday (July 7) morning, with police officers cordoning off the surrounding area from the public.
The Straits Times understands that the robber escaped with about $30,000 cash, and that no weapon was seen on him.
Police confirmed that the robbery occurred at 11.25am and that investigations are ongoing.
A resident told The Straits Times that police were asking people if they had seen anyone matching a photo of a Caucasian man, who was wearing a grey hoodie and mustard pants.
A customer at the Citibank next door told The Straits Times she saw as many as 10 police cars and two police vans at around noon.
Police officers in bulletproof vests and equipped with shields were also seen, said the customer, who declined to be named.
According to a police spokesman, no weapons were used during the robbery and there were no injuries.
A spokesman for Standard Chartered said the branch would be temporarily closed for police investigations, and assured the public that all its employees and customers are safe.
"We would like to highlight that the safety of our customers and staff are our top priority and our branch staff are all well trained to react to such situations.”
Ms Denise Richter, 22, an employee from nearby cafe PARK, said there was no commotion during the incident and that she observed police officers at the scene at around noon.
The cafe's employees were asked by officers if they had mobile or CCTV footage of the incident, she added.
Residents in the nearby neighbourhoods told The Straits Times they observed police patrolling the area after the incident. The Straits Times saw teams of officers in plainclothes checking dustbins of the terraced houses in Chip Bee Gardens estate.
Domestic worker Marnie Acosta said she saw police cars drive by several times, stopping to take pictures.
“This is scary, I’ve lived here for seven years and this is the first time something like this happened,” said Ms Acosta, 45.
Bank robberies are a rare occurrence in Singapore. An attempt to rob the United Overseas Bank at City Plaza in November 2008 ended in failure for Ismail Shaikh Ahmad.
Ismail, who was then 45, dressed like a woman and walked into the bank before demanding money from a teller by threatening him with a "bomb" in a paper bag. He was foiled when bank staff succeeded in restraining him.
And in November 2004, a Singapore permanent resident was shot twice by a Cisco guard during a failed bank robbery attempt at Maybank's Bukit Timah branch during lunch hour.
Brian Khoo, 43, who is from Indonesia, attempted to rob the bank by holding a bank customer hostage with a plastic replica of a gun.