Thursday, 12. December 2013 - 20:12
18. 10. 12. - 17:00
A bank robber who claimed to be carrying a bomb and who was wielding a handgun proved no match for an 82-year-old pensioner who bashed him with her handbag - and then pulled off his balaclava as he threatened staff at a bank at St. Egyden am Steinfeld in Lower Austria.
Hertha Wallecker, 82, saw red when Gerhard Pahlitsch ran into the local Raiffeisen bank shouting "I've got a bomb – I only want the big notes". The angry pensioner bashed the crook and then grabbed the mask - pulling it off as he tried to run past to the teller while brandishing the gun.
He demanded that the terrified cashier fill the bag with money and warned: "I've got a bomb – keep away."
But that didn't deter the battling pensioner who accosted him again from behind and grabbed the mask a second time – this time flinging it on the floor.
She told him: "That is the bank's money, if you want money then get a job you lazy devil."
Then as the armed raider attempted with one hand to put the mask back on and avoid being snapped by security cameras – she grabbed the plastic bag and tried to wrestle it out of his hands - scattering money over the floor and tearing one of the handles off before the man managed to escape.
TV footage shows how the OAP refused to let go even though the men tells her he's going to shoot her.
But thanks to the security camera images as well as the fingerprint evidence on the bag and the fact that the man had dropped his bomb he was quickly caught and is now under arrest.
A police spokesman said: "He was pretty well equipped – the bomb included real explosives and he even had a getaway driver in the form of his girlfriend parked outside. The realistic looking gun was actually gas powered could have still done some damage. Once the mask had been ripped off his head there was not really much chance he was going to get very far."
Police spokesman Josef Deutsch said they had quickly identified the crook who lived nearby and when they went to arrest him he had already fled, but they managed to collar the 62-year-old man's girlfriend, aged 48, who was at the address.
She made a full confession that led to the man's arrest a short while later.
Speaking afterwards she said: "I hate injustice. I come from a family with 16 children and you learn in a group like that to make sure everybody gets a fair share.
"I get 800 Euros a month as a pension and I had to work really hard to have the right to do that. When I hear about anybody stealing anything it just makes me really angry.
"I would do it again but my nephew told me it was mad and I could have been shot."
The two people arrested are currently in custody at a police station in nearby Wiener Neustadt.
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