January 11th, 2004


The Priests

"Three tall men disguised as bearded Orthodox Christian priests robbed a Belgrade bank and removed three security video tapes of the heist before making a getaway with $300,000.

But the men attracted lots of attention and overlooked a fourth surveillance recording of the robbery Thursday -- the day after Orthodox Christmas in Serbia.

"They caught my attention. You don't see three two-meter (6 ft 6.in) tall priests every day," a witness told the Belgrade daily, Balkan.

The trio, dressed in ankle-length black cassocks, entered the bank in Zemun district and one robber gave the traditional greeting "Christ is born." All three then pulled out shotguns and ordered guards, staff and customers to lie down while they emptied the tills, according to police sources."