The robbery of a Belfius bank branch in Auderghem was foiled when a man living nearby got fed up with the noise of tunnelling and called the police to complain. The thieves were busy tunnelling into the branch on the Avenue de l’Eglise Saint-Julien in Auderghem in Brussels, under cover of renovations taking place in a house next to the bank. The works had been going on for several months, but last Sunday the neighbour decided he had had enough. He called police to complain that the renovations had not only lasted a long time, but were now taking place on a Sunday. He said he had knocked on the door of the house and had been answered by a man with what he claimed was a Polish accent. The noise stopped, and the man refused to open the door.
The suspicions of police were aroused because works are not permitted on Sunday, and a patrol was dispatched to investigate. They discovered digging work and the beginnings of a hole being drilled through to the bank, already 35cm deep, which would have come out if completed just by the bank’s cash dispensers.
No sign, however, of the workers. Questioned by La Capitale, the police of the Marlow zone that includes Auderghem declined to give further details, as the investigation continues.
The attempted break-in closely resembles a successful bank robbery in Antwerp in February, where the robbers tunnelled into the safe deposit room from a nearby apartment, travelling partly by the public sewers. The robbers escaped, but one was later arrested after he was traced to an unusual angle grinder used in the exploit.