First National Bank has been hit by a second bank heist in as many months, with the SAPS reporting that R1.7 million has been stolen from the bank’s branch in Parktown, EWN reports.
Two days before Christmas in 2016, FNB branch in Randburg was targeted and hit by criminals, who escaped with over 200 safety deposit boxes containing various valuables of both monetary and sentimental value.
Now, the SAPS has reported that a second FNB branch – this time in Parktown – was hit by a similar heist over the long weekend.
According to the SAPS, the criminals used the same modus operandi as the Randburg heist. In that heist, a group of men held a security guard hostage while using power tools to gain access to the bank.
FNB confirmed that a second heist took place on 31 December, but added that, at this stage, there is no indication that the Parktown branch burglary is related to the Randburg one.
“We are working closely with the South African Police Services (SAPS) and the Organised Crime Unit to thoroughly investigate the incidents,” FNB said.
“Impacted FNB customers will be notified individually via the contact details supplied to the Bank, once the relevant law enforcement authorities have completed their preliminary investigation.
“FNB assures its customers that it is giving the matter utmost priority and will leave no stone unturned to get to the bottom of this criminal act. We are deploying additional resources to work hand-in-hand with law enforcement authorities on the investigation.
“Due to the police investigation currently underway, we are unable to provide further details on the issue,” the bank said.
The Hawks are currently investigating the latest case, while the investigation into the December heist is still ongoing.
FNB customers were left fuming after the previous heist left them without their undisclosed valuables (some held for decades) and FNB fell silent on the matter.
Many customers reported that they had safety deposit boxes at the bank for many years, and were not informed that the bank had moved their boxes to the Randburg branch.
While clients have been engaging with the bank, seeking compensation, some clients have threatened legal action.