Manager held over failed heist at Kisumu Equity branch as suspects flee

Equity Bank’s Ang'awa branch in Kisumu

Police enter Equity Bank’s Ang'awa branch in Kisumu on November 23, 2021 to confront suspected robbers. The suspects managed to escape after mingling with customers.

Photo credit: Elizabeth Ojina | Nation Media Group

Police in Kisumu were Tuesday evening holding the manager of Equity Bank’s Ang'awa branch for questioning following an attempted robbery that happened around 11am, even as it emerged that suspects escaped arrest.

Some of the people who were evacuated from the bank building including staff and customers were also being held for questioning at the Kisumu Central Police Station.

Nyanza Regional Commander Karanja Muiruri said the number of the people involved in the crime was yet to be established, promising to give more details on the failed heist on Wednesday.

According to Nyanza Regional Commissioner Magu Mutindika, police were yet to establish whether any money was lost in the robbery attempt.

"The bank manager is at the DCI office for questioning. Police are yet to establish whether there was any amount of money stolen [from] the bank," he told the Nation on Tuesday evening.

The scene of the attempted heist was thrown into confusion after one the suspects lobbed a tear gas canister forcing people to scamper for safety in different directions.

This was after police officers manning the building hurriedly closed the main entrance.

Suspects escape

It is believed that the suspects escaped in the ensuing confusion. Fortunately, nobody was injured during the standoff.

Mr Mutindika said the suspected robbers might have escaped during the tear gas canister scare inside the bank.

The CCTV footage captured a man changing his shirt before swiftly moving down to escape in the ensuing confusion.

From the investigations, he said police will establish who were people involved in the attempted robbery.

“We want to do a thorough search and appropriate action will be taken against any person who will be found to have been involved in this particular act,” said Mr Mutundika.

He said a multi-agency team will do an analysis of the CCTV footage to establish the people who got into the bank as from 9am.

“We want to give the police the maximum time to make sure that they unravel the truth of the matter. From the footage, we will be able to know those who were involved in the attempted bank robbery,” he said.

This was the second attempted robbery at the Equity Bank Angawa Street.

In October 2015, a suspect was shot dead while five others were arrested in a botched robbery.

Police recovered a paper bag which contained cash collected from a safe after it was broken into.

They also recovered a big spanner that the robbers had used to threaten cashiers to surrender the cash, purporting it to be a gun.