Canadian Bank Struck by Robbers Who Cut through Wall

HAMILTON -- A determined robber broke through a brick wall from an adjacent store to get into a bank where he robbed two armed guards at gunpoint, police say.

The intruder escaped with "a substantial amount of money" after ambushing and disarming the guards who had parked their armoured van in front of the Royal Bank branch on Wednesday night.

The robber, who was still at large Thursday night, was lying in wait when the guards - carrying a money bag - entered the building at about 10 p.m. to replenish the cash in three automatic teller machines.

The heist appeared to be well-planned because the robber knew when the guards would be arriving with the money, Det. Sgt. Paul Downey said.

The robber took the time to cut a hole through a thick wall the bank shares with an adjacent store, which has been vacant for several months.

After waylaying the guards in the front room, the gunman - who was packing a 38.-calibre revolver - ordered the guards to follow him into the main area of the bank.

He then took their money bag and apparently escaped the same way he came in.

Police said they've recovered the guards' handguns and some coins dropped during the heist.

Downey said it's unusual for somebody to rob armoured vehicles or security guards delivering cash.

"They're rare because they have to be well-organized," he said.

Ben Sauder, who owns the plaza, suggested the robber may have been planning the heist and burrowing through the wall for some time.

The back door, which is normally locked, was found open in recent weeks, Sauder said.

"I don't know how, but they're getting in somehow," he said.