Arkansas Bank Hit by Robber Who Cut Hole in Door, Disabled Vault Alarm

Theft involved removable of surveillance tapes, believed to have been an inside job


FORT SMITH, Ark. -- Police say a robber cut a hole in the back door of a bank building, disabled a vault alarm and stole an undisclosed amount of money.

A employee of a home-improvement center dropped off a deposit at Simmons First National Bank on Sunday and noticed that a trash bin had been moved to directly behind a bank's door. When he moved the trash bin back to its usual location, he noticed a hole in the bank's door.

After notifying police, officers arrived and searched the building, but found no one.

A police report said the last bank employee on duty left about 1:10 p.m. Saturday.

Bank officials discovered that the video surveillance tapes were removed, and the alarm to the safe was disarmed, the report said. It is believed the only people who knew how to disarm the alarm were bank employees, who also knew the combination to the safe, the report said.

(c) 2005 Associated Press