Beds, Herts & Bucks

Bank robber with bogus bomb made of tissues jailed

CCTV images of Ion Craciunescu Image copyright Bedfordshire Police
Image caption CCTV images of Ion Craciunescu were circulated in a large scale appeal to find him

A man who robbed a bank using a bogus bomb made from a box of tissues, black fabric and a television remote control has been jailed.

Ion Craciunescu, 64, pleaded guilty to robbing the Co-operative Bank in Alma Street, Luton, on 7 December.

Bedfordshire Police said he threatened "terrified" staff and told them he would detonate the bomb if his demands were not met.

He was jailed for two years at Luton Crown Court.

Image copyright Bedfordshire police
Image caption The "bogus bomb" was made with tissues wrapped in black fabric

A police spokeswoman said Craciunescu, a Romanian of no fixed abode, left his bag containing the fake bomb on the counter after demanding money from staff.

He then made off with the cash and spent it at adult entertainment venues, hotels and on alcohol.

The bomb was later discovered not to be a viable explosive device, but "a bunch of tissues wrapped in a black fabric and a TV remote he stole from a hotel room".

Det Con Mandy Godfree, said: "The members of staff were genuinely terrified and scared for their life, not knowing that the device left behind at the scene was not viable.

"This kind of experience leaves long lasting mental scars which will take time to heal."

Image copyright Bedfordshire Police
Image caption Ion Craciunescu was jailed for two years for the robbery

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