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At the end of last week, the police and criminal police officers of Postojna arrested the perpetrators of a robbery of a savings bank in Postojna and of a post office in Prestranek. The police took this opportunity to warn people to be more careful, particularly when withdrawing and transferring money, and therefore avoid becoming victims of theft.

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The press conference was attended by the head of the Criminal Police Division at the Police Division of Postojna Iztok Pereni─Ź and police's public relations officer for crime Drago Menegalija.
 

Savings bank robbery in Postojna

According to Iztok Pereni─Ź, head of the Criminal Investigation Police Section at Postojna Police Directorate, two armed and masked men robbed a savings bank in Postojna city centre in the morning of 29 October 2009. Threatening staff with apparent weapons, they forced them to stuff a large number of banknotes of different value amounting to EUR 23,000 into their bag.

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Postojna police and criminal officers traced the robbers through information about excessive spending by a group of local young men who were not previously so well off. Criminal officers established that two 17-year boys and one 21-year man, all from Postojna, had spent very large amounts of money in restaurants and bars on sports wagers in the previous month.

In three house searches conducted on 3 December 2009, criminal officers seized the weapons (very good replicas of real weapons), clothing and shoes used in the robbery, along with mobile phones and some goods bought with money from the robbery.

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The investigation also clarified the role of the third accomplice, a 21-year old man from Postojna. During the robbery, he had stood at a pedestrian crossing and provided instructions and warnings over a mobile phone to one of the robbers in the bank.

The police officers ordered a 48-hour detention for all perpetrators in accordance with the Criminal Procedure Act and filed criminal complaints against them before the investigating judge at the District Court of Koper; after a hearing, the latter ordered their release.

Post office robbery in Prestranek

A man armed with a gun robbed a post office in Prestranek on the afternoon of 21 July 2009. With the gun, he threatened an employee, who handed him banknotes amounting to approximately 3,000 euros. The robber did not wear a mask but a cap with a brim.

On the basis of a reconstructed photo of the perpetrator, the robber was identified. In September, the police conducted a search at the house of a 29-year-old man from the vicinity of Ilirska Bistrica. A criminal complaint was filed against the 29-year-old man. He committed the robbery of Prestranek post-office during his conditional release from prison, where he was serving a one-year sentence of imprisonment for a similar offence.

According to Drago Menegalja, methods used in robberies have not changed substantially in the past few years. As a rule, a robber uses force or threats to harm the life of body of the victim(s) to force the handing over of goods, money, etc. In recent years, the number of robberies recorded by the police has decreased; investigated robberies total 45 to 50%.

In the areas where street robberies and grand thefts occur, the police constantly monitor the situation and carry out appropriate operational and preventive measures. In most cases, suspects in such crimes are juvenile offenders, and new groups, individuals and drug addicts are appearing continuously. Typically, such acts are committed in the afternoon or at night in the streets, parks, car parks and on the roads. Offenders act in groups or alone and sometimes wear masks.

In bank robberies, offenders are very well organised and in most cases also armed and masked. There is a trend towards increasingly violent behaviour by offenders. Therefore, the police have worked to constantly and successfully co-operate with the Bank of Slovenia and the Bank Association of Slovenia; consultations are attended by representatives of banks and by representatives of private security companies.

Preventive advice delivered by the Police

  • victims should immediately inform the Police about an incident using the telephone number 113
  • we advise people to be very cautious when drawing and carrying cash - especially at this time of year
  • if an incident occurs, victims are advised to call for help to draw the attention of passers-by and inform the police immediately
  • those involved are advised not to act too courageously or hastily, especially if a robber is physically stronger or armed
  • if you are a victim of criminal offence, you can greatly help the police in finding the perpetrator by remembering or immediately recording data on the perpetrator, any vehicle and the direction of escape.