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Man tries to rob three banks in Hong Kong, fails horribly

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A man allegedly tried to rob three banks in Hong Kong in April last year, but left each place empty-handed.

Yi Cong Bing, 48, was arrested and charged with attempted robbery. He was on trial on Tuesday (April 21).

Here is the story of how he failed over and over again.

On April 1, Yi entered Wing Hang Bank at Ngau Tau Kok Road​.

He allegedly cut the queue and handed the bank teller Zhang Hui Xian a slip of paper with the words, 'This is a robbery, give me HKD100,000 (S$17,400), I have a bomb, if you don't give me the money I'll bomb this place'.

But Ms Zhang thought he wanted her help in disposing some trash. 

She threw the paper in the bin without reading it.

He left the place immediately.

Later that day, he entered the next-door bank, Wing Lung Bank.

Again, he allegedly cut the queue and handed the bank teller a slip of paper. But before she could react, Yi left the bank.

When Ms Wu Min Hui​ read about the demand for HKD100,000, she thought it was an April Fool's prank as Yi had misspelt the word 'robbery' in Mandarin.

She handed the note to her superior, who noticed the bomb threat on the other side of the paper.

They decided to call the cops.

Two days later, Yi entered China CITIC Bank. This time, he waited in line for his turn.

He allegedly handed bank teller Chen Hui Min a slip of paper.

The word 'robbery' was again misspelt and the amount had been reduced to HKD10,000 – a tenth of his previous demands.

Ms Chen took the nervous man's threat seriously.

She pressed the silent alarm and started taking money out of the drawer. She also whispered the word "robbery" to a nearby colleague.

But when she turned to face Yi, she realised he had left the bank.

Yi's actions were caught on the third bank's closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera. He also left a paper towel with his DNA at the scene.

He was arrested the next day with a lighter, alcohol and slips of paper with his demands printed on it in his possession.

Yi, a university graduate from China's Hubei province, was left with a huge credit card debt after he was fired from his job as an engineer.

He allegedly travelled to Hong Kong on April 1 with the intention of robbing banks to clear his debt.

Yi has pleaded not guilty to all three charges of attempted robbery.

Here are some other bank robbers who failed miserably.

  • Armed with a hatchet, a man tried to rob a bank in Tianjin. His plan? To use the tool to make a hole in the bulletproof glass and get to the cash. But he took so long that by the time he got through, the staff had fled and the police had arrived.




  • Armed with a cleaver, a man tried to rob a bank in Shanghai. But the bank teller was so amused by his attempt that she started laughing at him. Needless to say, he did not get the money.



Sources: Apple Daily, Shanghaiist, Ministry of Tofu