Three armed men held up a bank in Cologne on Monday (28 December) and escaped in a van with the money and two policemen as hostages.
GV TILT DOWN FROM Cathedral to bank (2 shots)
SV Police and crowds on pavements
SV Getaway car with shot-out flat tyre
SV Police watching scene from across road (2 shots)
SV Police holding back crowds
SV Bandits out of bank and into car with police hostages (4 shots)
SV Police with machine-guns
GV Bandit into get way truck provided by police and truck away
GV Helicopter in air following truck below. (2 shots)
Initials BB/0122 JH/AW/BB/0137
This film was shot by a West German television team and transmitted over the Eurovision news exchange.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Three armed men held up a bank in Cologne on Monday (28 December) and escaped in a van with the money and two policemen as hostages. The robbers bargained with police as they held three bank employees as hostages. They demanded and got a van to take the money--311, 424 Marks (about 37,000 Pounds Sterling)--after police had shot the tyres of their car. Then the bank employees were exchanged for policemen volunteers and the robbers were allowed to leave the city.
SYNOPSIS: Cologne's famed Cathedral...and in its shadow a real-life cops-and-robbers drama was being acted out as police bargained with bank hold-up men. Monday's post-Christmas crowds watched as police tried to get the hold-up men to release the three bank employees they were holding as hostages. The police shot flat the tyres of their get-away car.
The hold-up men demanded a van--and get the police to agree to give them two officers as hostages to replace the bank employees.
The bank's Christmas takings--worth some 37,000 Pounds--were loaded into the van. The gang loader is said by police to be an Austrian and the other two are believed to be French. The extreme caution of the police in dealing with the raiders is partly as a result of an incident in Munich last summer when a woman hostage was killed after police opened fire on bank raiders. Munich police came under severe criticism for that action. So now the police agreed to let the raiders out of Cologne unimpeded.
This time...the police watched. The head of Cologne's CIO had negotiated the safe release of the bank staff. New he was led out, hands tied being is back, to the van. The two policemen have since been released and the van's been found--empty.
Efforts to follow the raiders were hampered by bad weather. They're still at large, near the French border.