Taxi driver abducted and forced to take part in Kirkcaldy bank robbery

Bomb disposal experts on the scene. Pic by FPA
Bomb disposal experts on the scene. Pic by FPA

An appeal has been made by police for any taxi driver who may have been asked to take a man with an Eastern European accent to an industrial estate in Lochgelly yesterday to get in touch.

And they also want to speak to anyone who may have seen a man leaving the Bank of Scotland on Mitchelston Industrial Estate in Kirkcaldy after 1.30pm when a robbery took place.

The police helicopter circles the town. Pic by FPA

The police helicopter circles the town. Pic by FPA

Officers say that at around 12.40pm, a taxi picked up a man from The Avenue in Lochgelly, near to the industrial estate. The taxi driver was then made to drive to the Bank of Scotland in Kirkcaldy where he was forced to enter the bank and present a note to the staff demanding money.

The latest police statement issued, said: “Police were alerted to the ongoing incident and the possibility of the presence of some form of explosive device. This resulted in a significant policing response which included police and military specialist resources from across the country, including the police helicopter.

“The taxi driver was taken quickly and safely away by local police officers and cordons were put up whilst the area was searched and items examined. This confirmed that no explosives or bombs were present during this incident.”

Detective Inspector Charlie Duncan is leading the investigation and said: “I want to speak to anyone who may have been in the area of the industrial estate in Lochgelly between 12.15pm and 12.40pm yesterday and saw the man who is described as white, 5 foot 6 inches tall, of heavy build and wearing a dark green baseball cap, a dark green scarf, a thick dark blue jacket, tracksuit bottoms and sunglasses. He spoke with a distinctive Eastern European accent.

Police at the bank. Pic by FPA

Police at the bank. Pic by FPA

​“I am particularly interested to trace any taxi drivers who may have taken a hire to the Lochgelly area yesterday who matched this description. We are not certain how this individual came to be in that area, but due to the location it is unlikely that he walked there.

“We would also be keen to trace any taxi drivers or members of the public who may have seen a man fitting this description leaving the Kirkcaldy area anytime from 1.30pm following the incident at the bank.”

Superintendent Derek McEwan added: “I would like to offer a reassurance to the public that all actions of the police yesterday were done to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our communities. I would also like to praise the courage and bravery of the taxi driver and staff within the Bank of Scotland who remained calm during this entire incident.

​“Officers will be in Kirkcaldy and Lochgelly offering further reassurance and carrying out more enquiries today, and will be available to speak to anyone who has any information which could assist our investigation.”

​Alternatively contact Kirkcaldy CID on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Yesterday’s incident sparked a huge emergency operation in the north of Kirkaldy with dozens of police, army and bomb disposal experts in attendance, along with a police helicopter.

Pupils from nearby schools were also kept inside their premises until a thorough search of the area was carried out.