North Kirkcaldy in lockdown during search for armed robber

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Police investigating today’s armed robbery incident in Kirkcaldy are searching for two male occupants of a taxi which was near the scene.

The men were in a grey Skoda Octavia taxi around 1.30pm and Superintendent Derek McEwan said: “We would naturally like to appeal to any members of the public who saw the occupants to come forward.”

Police at the scene of the robbery.

Police at the scene of the robbery.

The area of the Bank of Scotland, near Asda, was very heavily populated, he added, and any witnesses with any information were asked to contact 101.

Superintendent McEwan confirmed “there was property removed from the bank” but he was unable at this stage to give details.

Earlier, pupils were kept shut inside schools as a huge police and army presence descended on the north of Kirkcaldy this afternoon. A helicopter scoured the area and army bomb disposal units were spotted following an armed robbery at the Bank of Scotland on Mitchelston Industrial Estate at 1.30pm.

The nearby Asda supermarket was emptied of customers as entrance roads to the estate were closed off and dozens of police officers swarmed over the estate and nearby St Andrews High School where the car park was taken over as a gathering point for emergency vehicles.

The bank where the robbery took place

The bank where the robbery took place

St Andrews High and St Marie’s Primary pupils were kept inside the buildings as were those at Kirkcaldy High School just half a mile along Dunnikier Way while the area was thoroughly searched.

And curious residents from the nearby Overton Mains flats craned to look out their windows to see what was going on while other groups gathered on the pavements around the area to exchange information, which was mainly speculation.

A press release said: “Officers were called to the incident at the Bank of Scotland at 1.30pm this afternoon (Wednesday, November 11.

No-one has been injured but areas around the bank have been cordoned off. People at nearby premises including shops and schools were initially kept inside as a precaution, however these areas are no longer under cordon.

Superintendent McEwan said: “This is an unusual incident for Kirkcaldy and a large number of officers are currently working to ensure the area is safe, speak to those who have witnessed this robbery and return the area to normal as quickly as possible. I’d like to thank people for their patience whilst we carry out our enquiries.

“Our priority was to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all members of the public in the vicinity of this incident. A number of items were found and to ensure their safe removal, specialists from the military Explosive Ordnance Device Unit attended and examined them. These items are in the process of being removed but did not pose a risk to the public.

“A decision was also made to prevent the public from leaving nearby shop premises and schools for a short period of time, however this was done to ensure their safety. There were no threats directed at these premises or the public within, and this was merely a precaution until we could satisfy ourselves the area was safe.

“Officers will be in the area into the evening to provide further reassurance whilst continuing to investigate this incident.”