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Journalist Robs Bank to Prove Lack of Security

March 4, 1987

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) _ A newspaper reporter robbed a small bank here Wednesday and immediately handed the money back, saying he only wanted to prove how easy it was to stage a holdup.

Dimitris Mamas of the Kyrikas weekly said he decided to stage the heist, in which he stole 1,000 Cypriot pounds ($2,000), after a real-life bank robbery last month at a suburban branch with only two staffers.

″I walked into this Bank of Cyprus branch and placed my tape recorder wrapped in a newspaper on the teller’s counter, telling the only two bank employees there that this was a holdup,″ Mamas said in a telephone interview after the mock robbery.

″The teller and the bank manager scooped money into a bag and gave it to me. I walked out of the door and then went back in again telling them this was a mock-robbery,″ he added.

Mamas said he waited at the bank until the police, who had been summoned by the teller through an alarm signal, arrived on the scene 20 minutes later.

The police took a statement from Mamas and let him go.

Mamas said he pulled off the stunt to prove the validity of a complaint by the Cyprus Bank Employees Union, which said in a statement after last month’s real-life robbery that small bank branches lacked adequate security.

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