German robbers dig 100-foot tunnel into Berlin bank
Customers and a cameraman stand in front of a Berlin bank on Monday, Jan. 14, 2013, after robbers raided the bank through an underground tunnel. (AP Photo/dapd/ Tobias Koch)
Published Monday, January 14, 2013 10:38AM EST
Last Updated Monday, January 14, 2013 5:04PM EST
BERLIN - German police say robbers dug a 30-meter (100-foot) tunnel into the safe deposit room of a Berlin bank and escaped with their haul, setting a fire as they left to cover their tracks.
Berlin police spokesman Thomas Neuendorf says the tunnel led from an underground garage into the bank's safe deposit room.
Neuendorf told The Associated Press Monday that the tunnel was "very professional" and must have taken weeks or even months to complete. It was elaborately constructed and even had ceiling supports.
Police were alerted to the break-in early Monday when a security guard noticed smoke coming from the deposit room.
Neuendorf says police are still trying to determine what valuables were stolen from the deposit boxes.
Details of the heist called to mind the spectacular robbery of another Berlin bank in 1995. During that robbery thieves entered the bank through the door, took hostages and demanded a helicopter and ransom.