Bank guard protects customer

CIBC First Caribbean’s Mark St. Hill reentering the branch on Fontabelle.

The fast thinking of a bank security guard and the actions of a would-be victim today foiled an attempted robbery outside the CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank on Fontabelle, St. Michael.

Managing Director of the bank’s Barbados operations, Mark St. Hill, told Barbados TODAY that while he and staff were being counselled following the incident in which a man attempted to rob a customer who was on his way into the bank, he was pleased with the response of the security guard.

“It is still sketchy still but … masked gun men approached one of our customers outside of the bank. The customer sought refuge within the bank and we closed the doors and that averted the robbery,” said St. Hill.

Police Public Relations Officer Inspector David Welch said this afternoon that the robbery took place after 1 p.m.

Patrick Thorne, 39, of Bank Hall, St. Michael was attacked by two assailants.

He said early indications were that the gunmen attempted to rob the man in the parking lot of the bank, but the customer fought off one man and sustained injuries to his hand in the process before fleeing into the bank.

Indications were, he said, that the perpetrators fled east through the parking lot of the next door TMR Sales and Services.

Meanwhile, bank boss St. Hill said although the customer had left, the counselling services of Network Services had been called in to help staff deal with the impact. The branch was also closed for the rest of the day with a sign on the door stating that, “Due to circumstances beyond our control, the branch will be closed for the remainder of the day”, further encouraging customers to utilise other branches for their required services. The notice also apologised for any inconvenience caused.

St. Hill said though that continued vigilance at the branch was something they took very seriously, and would evaluate the situation to see if still more needed to be done.

“We don’t wait for these things to occur. We have been doing that on an ongoing basis our surveillance and we do have security personnel here. But when we get all the facts we will determine whether we can do more or what. These are times when we have to be vigilant and I must say our security personnel did an excellent job in closing the doors,” he said praising the guard. (LB)

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