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Lessons are learned from heist hilarity

Fun and games: NatWest in Temple Row Birmingham

ARMED police stormed a bank amid fears of a robbery — only to discover embarrassed staff had been playing a game of hide and seek.

Officers were called when a passer-by spotted workers crouching under their desks at the NatWest branch in busy Birmingham city centre yesterday.

But it turned out that, far from dodging a gun-wielding raider, the employees were playing the child’s game as a team-building exercise. Ch Insp Dave Keen explained the mix-up in a tweet and thanked the passer-by, saying: ‘Contacting us was the right call.’

Police colleague Kenny Bell quipped on Twitter: ‘Coming, ready or not.’ But Dave Taylor tweeted back: ‘Joking aside, what did the bank expect people to think when they saw workers cowering under their desks in a busy city centre? Idiots.’ Birmingham resident Connor Smith added: ‘Bet they got a right shock when police turned up.’

NatWest confirmed the alert just before 10am at the branch in the Colmore Row business district was a false alarm.

It said bosses would ‘speak to the members of staff involved to ensure that they all learn from this incident’.