In an elaborate bank heist, which seems straight out of a Hollywood blockbuster, robbers in Germany dug a 100-foot tunnel into a Berlin bank's safe deposit room.
It appears so far the robbers may have gotten away with their crime. They escaped, setting a fire behind them. It was the smoke of the fire that caught a bank security guard's attention and led him to the deposit room Monday morning.
The robbery, which police spokesman, Thomas Neuendorf called "very professional" took place in Germany's Steglitz district. The robbers broke through two reinforced concrete walls to make it into the bank, where they reportedly opened over 100 safe deposit boxes.
It is not clear exactly what was stolen from the deposit boxes, but police are hard at work questioning residents and viewing surveillance footage in search of leads.
"It will take some time to determine the value of what was stolen," Neuendorf commented.
Neuendorf speculated that the tunnel may have taken months to complete. The route went directly from an underground parking garage into the safe deposit room of the bank, and was even built with ceiling support to prevent cave-ins. It appears the robbers disposed of the dirt they removed from the tunnel in another location.
The opening to the tunnel was not discovered earlier because it was separated from the rest of the garage by a rolling shutter. Both the garage and bank were closed off by police Monday morning in order to search for evidence.
The robbery is reminiscent of a 1995 Berlin bank heist, where robbers stormed the bank and took patrons hostage, demanding a helicopter and ransom money. While several of the thieves were caught by police, a few managed to escape through an underground tunnel.