The man, wearing black pants and a face mask, arrived at an Agribank branch in Buon Ma Thuot by motorbike at around 11 a.m. He was seen talking on the phone and checking his watch.
He refused to remove his face mask when asked to by a guard, saying he was sick and did not want people to see him.
|A bullet is stuck on the glass shield of a concrete beam at a bank in Vietnam, as the robber has fled after firing it. Photo by VnExpress/Kh. Uyen
When the guard was distracted, he rushed inside, drew a gun and threw a bag over for the cashiers to fill with money.
“I’ll be dead sooner or later,” he said, before shooting at a guard and missing him, eyewitnesses said.
The shot caused panic in the bank and the alarms went off, prompting people from the upper floors to rush downstairs.
The man immediately fled, leaving his vehicle behind.
“It was a bold attempt,” one police officer said.
They are checking the motorbike’s registration and surveillance cameras to hunt down the suspect.
Bank robberies are becoming more frequent in Vietnam, with most cases involving just a single individual.
The Dak Lak case was the second attempt reported in a month. Last month, a man in the northern province of Bac Ninh was arrested after holding bank workers at knifepoint and stealing VND200 million (US$8,800).
In September, two heists cleared a combined US$10,000 in the southern provinces of Dong Nai and Vinh Long. No arrests have been reported.
In the same month, a court in the southern province of Tra Vinh sentenced a man to 20 years in jail for using an air gun to rob US$88,000 from a bank in May.