Shocking Reasons Why Armed Robbers Target Commercial Banks In Small Towns

Commercial banks in small towns or rural areas have been experiencing attacks by dare devil robbers recently and their deadly operations have been more or less successful. Bigger banks in commercial nerve centers used to be the target but it appears these robbers have re-strategized and the reason is not farfetched.

Banks in small towns and rural areas have less security personnel or less-trained security personnel who are the first casualties to bite the bullet when armed robbers strike. Small towns or rural areas hardly experience traffic congestion which makes it easy for robbers to zoom in and out with no restriction.

Small towns have just one police station and it could be miles away from the bank or in an instance where it is close by, the policemen would have already been disarmed by the robbers. These are just some of the reasons why they may have been the subject of attacks in recent times.

Deadly robbers attacked a branch of a commercial bank in llara-Mokin, lfedore council area of Ondo State on the 15th, July 2021. The robbers on arrival at the bank blew open the bank’s bullet-proof door with dynamite before they gained entrance into the banking hall at the peak hour.

A customer of the bank who spoke with newsmen said the robbers were six in number. He said that when the robbers attacked the bank at about 3 pm and started shooting sporadically into the air to scare the bank customers.

According to an eye witness; “I was inside the bank when th

“So they later got the key of the vault and packed the money there but they were not satisfied with what they saw, so they opened the Automated Teller Machine, but there was just small money in there.

“This infuriated them and they shouted where is the money, it seems what they got did not satisfy them. After that, they took the money and went out angrily shooting to escape the scene.”

An okada rider, a policeman and a journalist were passing by when they ran into the robbers during the operation and were killed by stray bullets.

Also, two separate armed robbery attacks occurred in two banks in Ikire/Apomu areas in Osun state on Wednesday, June 2, 2021 at about 6:10 pm. According to reports, the armed robbers had earlier robbed a bank in Apomu town around 3pm before proceeding to Ikire where they killed three persons at a commercial bank automated teller machine.

Four police officers identified as ASP Osho Oluranti, Inspector Lekan Olalere, Two 2 Special Constabularies; namely Oladeni Olalekan, and Oyedeji Muyideen were also killed during the attack.

A statement released by the spokesperson of the state police command, SP Opalola Yemisi Olawoyin, said the armed robbers numbering about 35 came in with about five Vehicles, they first attacked the Ikire Divisional Police HQ and the Armoured Personnel Carrier was pinned down at Ikoyi-Osun with several explosive devices and several guns, firing in a bid to subdue the capacity of the Police while attempting to rob the banks.

”On sighting the overwhelming Policemen Comprising Prompt Response Unit (PRU), CP’s Surveillance team, IRT Operatives, STS, 39 PMF, JTF, along with the local Security outfits, who swiftly engaged them in a fierce gun duel and the robbers began to flee.

While escaping, they shot sporadically, and regrettably, 3 Civilians were shot namely; Toheeb Oyebola, Temilorun Adebiyi, and one other, (whose identity is not yet known), all-male. They did not succeed robbing any of the Banks.”

Also deadly armed robbers, on Tuesday, March 30th 2021, attacked a branch of the United Bank for Africa (UBA) in Delta state leaving three people dead and others injured. According to reports, the incident happened at the UBA branch in Issele-Uku, the headquarters of Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State.

As soon as the armed robbers arrived, workers and customers were forced to scamper for safety. According to several reports, the operation which lasted for more than an hour, led to the death of three residents while others sustained bullet injuries.

Speaking, a resident of the community who witnessed the incident said the armed robbers, who invaded the bank also had some of their gang members stationed at target locations in the community.

“The armed robbers came well prepared. It was like an American action movie. The robbers had sophisticated weapons. Sounds of gunshots rented the entire village while the operation was on. There was panic everywhere and the police were nowhere to be found. As they were shooting sporadically, stray bullets hit someone and she died immediately and others had bullet wounds.

“Our hopes were dashed as we were counting on the police station in the town. As this was going on, we heard the Divisional Police Officer and his men had gone into hiding somewhere else. We heard that the robbers earlier visited the police station and were searching for the DPO and his men but the police who got wind of their presence quickly took cover. The destruction at the bank was massive. The bank’s security men were also shot dead in the attack.

Also, on March 11, 2021.Some deadly armed robbers attacked a bank in the Okuku area of Osun state. The gunmen were said to have attacked the Wema bank branch in Okuku, a city located between Osun and Kwara States.

It was gathered that the incident occurred on Thursday in Odo Otin Local Government Area of the state. The Public Relations Officer of the State Police Command, Yemisi Opalola, also confirmed the incident.

She noted saying that the Commissioner of Police in Osun, Wale Olokode led a team of operatives to the scene of the incident for possible arrest of the armed robbers. While it has to be ascertained if anybody was killed or injured during the attack, Yemisi Opalola promised to provide more updates on the robbery.

A Twitter user simply identified as @AjiOpeyemi, shared a video capturing the aftermath of the incident on her handle. She noted that two persons were killed, but the police have yet to confirm if there was any casualty as a result of the robbery.

She wrote: This is okuku, osun state. Armed Robbers came to rob Wema bank. I hope the student and indigene are safe.

Also three members of a robbery gang met their untimely end after they attempted to rob an old generation bank and failed. The incident happened in Okeho, Oyo State on Wednesday, July 29, 2020 and the robbers were set ablaze by a mob.

A statement from the spokesperson of the police command, Gbenga Fadeyi, said the robbers who rode in an 18-seater bus, arrived at the bank premises at about 3 pm and gained entrance into the bank using dynamites and AK-47 riffles shots to blow the bank security door.

Fadeyi said a collaborative effort from the Police Tactical teams, Vigilante and hunters yielded results as the robbers failed to cart away with the money.

The spokesperson said while the robbers fled the scene of the attack, the 18-seater bus they rode in, somersaulted. He said three of the robbery suspects who were arrested when the bus somersaulted, were set on fire by the mob.

The police spokesperson added that the state Commissioner of Police has directed all the Police Tactical teams including the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Mobile Police Force, Police personnel from Okeho Area Command and nearby Divisions to be on the trail of other members of the fleeing robbery gang who escaped in different directions.

These cases are really disheartening and makes one wonder why take a job that you could lose your life in a matter of seconds.

Austine Ikeru
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