Israeli man pretends avocado is grenade, robs 2 banks of over S$11,400

He had threatened to use the "grenade" to blow the banks up.

Matthias Ang| June 11, 08:39 PM

In the wrong hands, fruits can be a dangerous weapon.

Man robs banks with an avocado

An Israeli man has been charged with aggravated robbery for successfully robbing two banks of NIS 30,000 (S$11,430), by using an avocado that had been painted black.

According to multiple news outlets, the man had tricked bank staff into thinking that the painted avocado was a grenade by threatening to blow up the place on both occasions.

Both incidents happened in southern Israel at different branches of Israel's Postal Bank.

The man has since been identified as a resident of a Bedouin village in the region.

Handed over a note, threatened to throw the "grenade"

As for the robber's method, this involved handing over a note to the cashier, followed by a threat to throw a "grenade", the Times of Israel highlighted.

His initial robbery at the Big Beersheba shopping mall saw the man first pass a note to the bank cashier, demanding that she hand over the money within her counter.

The man then verbally threatened to throw a "grenade" when she hesitated in doing so, thereby drawing attention to the round black object that he held in his hand.

For his initial attempt, the man managed to leave the bank with NIS 16,000 (S$6,100).

The man then repeated the same method five days later, at another branch within the Oren Center shopping area.

This time, he was successful in robbing the bank of approximately NIS 12,000 (S$4,570).

Robber caught through cellphone tracking

It was only afterwards that the actual identity of the "grenade" as a painted avocado was discovered, the Times of Israel reported.

As for the robber, he was caught through the police's tracking of his cellphone locations at the time of the robberies.

This was because security cameras were unable to provide many clues to the man's identity, given that he had utilised disguises consisting of hats that concealed his face, sunglasses, and an eyepatch.

Subsequent police investigations further revealed that the man also had a criminal record, having previously served a three-year jail term for another robbery.

Here's how a bank in Singapore was robbed with a piece of paper:

Top image from Flickr