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Bank robbers thwarted by annoyed neighbour in Auderghem

15:37 01/04/2019

Bank robbers have been thwarted in Brussels, thanks to complaints by a neighbour. The bank in question is a Belfius branch on the Avenue de l’Eglise Sant-Julien in Auderghem.

The street has a few shopfronts but is largely residential. It seems that one family has been plugging their ears for months as a house consisting of five apartments next to Belfius is being fully renovated.

“For nine months, construction work has been done on these apartments from Monday to Friday,” Pascal P told La Capitale. “We’re sick of it. Our own walls have cracks in them from the work, and sometimes we can’t talk to each other because of all the noise.”

When the drilling started up on a recent Sunday, Pascal couldn’t take it anymore. He rapped on the door, and a voice from inside responded. “I told them that it was against the law to work on Sunday and to open the door.”

The door never opened, but the noise stopped. Still, Pascal was fuming and called the police anyway.

Police arrived the same day and found the beginnings of a tunnel meant to go from the basement of the house to the bank. But there was also a big hole being drilled through the wall of the home directly into the bank. The thieves apparently found this an easier way to get into the bank, but were scared off by Pascal.

An investigation has been opened, but so far no arrests have been made.

The potential thieves were probably inspired by the spectacular robbery of safe deposit boxes in an Antwerp Fortis bank in February, when thieves dug tunnels and crawled through sewer pipes. While that robbery actually took place, the suspects have been identified and arrested.

They presumably were smart enough, however, to not carry out excavation works on a Sunday.

Photo: The house next door to the bank has been under renovation for nine months. Pascal’s house is the smaller one on the right

Written by Lisa Bradshaw