September 22, 2010 / 4:05 PM / 9 years ago

Robbers nabbed trying to drill into bank from above

A view of a tunnel where two would-be Albanian bank robbers, who had rented a shop above the vault of an Intesa SanPaolo bank branch, drilled, in Tirana in this handout photo taken September 22, 2010. REUTERS/Police/Handout

TIRANA (Reuters) - Two would-be Albanian bank robbers were arrested Wednesday as they tried to drill a passageway into a bank vault from a shop they had rented above it, police officials said.

In an aborted heist echoing the plot of the Woody Allen film “Small Time Crooks,” the two men were caught after the noise from their drilling between the upper floor shop and the bank vault alerted the authorities.

“We moved in when they were in the last stages of finishing the tunnel,” Tirana police chief Tonin Vocaj told reporters.

Armed robberies at small, lightly protected branches of 16 commercial banks have risen over the last few years in Albania, a small and impoverished Adriatic nation of 3.2 million.

Editing by Mark Heinrich

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