A woman who was robbed of £5,000 outside a bank said the theft was “like something out of a heist movie”.

Rasi, who lives not far from the Kingsbury branch of Santander, has written to the bank raising concerns over how the robbers could have known that she had just withdrawn a large amount of cash.

She said the money was already hidden in her bag before she left the branch, in Kingsbury Road.

But Rasi claimed Santander has refused to investigate because the cash was stolen once she was outside.

The bank did not deny her claim.

It said: “We have a great deal of sympathy for any victims of crime. This incident took place outside of Santander premises and we are supporting the police with their enquiries.”

Times Series: The robbery occurred outside this Santander branch in KingsburyThe robbery occurred outside this Santander branch in Kingsbury (Image: Charles Thomson)

Rasi, 41, who withdrew the cash while her husband waited outside in their car, said she is speaking out because she fears it was not an isolated incident.

She did not want her surname published as the robbers have not been caught and she fears reprisals.

"The bank didn’t investigate anything or give it proper attention,” she said.

“I don’t know how many times this has happened. It could have happened ten times and their head office not know, because they don’t do anything if it happens outside the bank.”

We asked Santander questions about this policy and whether there had been any similar incidents outside the same branch. It did not answer.

The Heist

The robbery occurred after Rasi left the bank on July 21.

As Rasi’s husband pulled away, a woman stepped in front of their car and pretended to have injured her ankle.

“I could tell straight away that she was pretending,” said Rasi. “But I thought she was trying to do a fake hit claim, like we had hit her.”

Times Series: The elaborate crime took place in Kingsbury RoadThe elaborate crime took place in Kingsbury Road (Image: Charles Thomson)

The couple later learned that while the woman was blocking their car, an accomplice was placing a foam mat with a spike in it under their tyre.

When the decoy moved off and the couple drove forward, their tyre was punctured, forcing them to stop and get out of the car.

“As soon as my husband saw it, he said, ‘This is a set-up’,” Rasi recalled.

She put her bag inside the car so they could lock it inside.

However, because her own car key was inside the bag as well, the car would not lock.

Another participant sprayed sauce all over Rasi to create a distraction.

“Within ten seconds, the bag was gone,” she said.

“It’s a big deal”

“We were shocked when we realised the bag was gone,” said Rasi. “Our hearts were in the pits of our stomachs.

“We took all the right precautions but it was like something out of a heist movie with the amount of people involved.”

Times Series: The Santander branch is immediately opposite Kingsbury tube stationThe Santander branch is immediately opposite Kingsbury tube station (Image: Charles Thomson)

Also inside the stolen bag were Rasi’s phone, house keys, car key and bank cards.

They had to get all of their locks changed, on top of the £5,000 they had already lost.

They had withdrawn the money for a deposit on some building work.

“It’s a big deal to us,” she said. “We’re not going to get that money back. It takes a long time to save up, especially with the cost-of-living, the kids, mortgage rates going up. We are working class. We are not really well-off.”

Rasi says the incident has changed her.

“I’m wary of any member of the public now," she said. "I’m constantly looking around to see if I can see any of these people.

“One of them looked like a grandad. They just looked like normal people going about their business.”

“Absolute rubbish”

“The police are absolute rubbish and so are the banks,” said Rasi.

One suspect was apprehended by members of the public and arrested, but then allegedly let go without police searching his home or seizing his phone.

“When I questioned that, they said, ‘It should have been done and we are sorry’,” Rasi said.

Times Series: Rasi criticised Santander and the Metropolitan Police for their response to the robberyRasi criticised Santander and the Metropolitan Police for their response to the robbery (Image: Charles Thomson)

Not long after the robbery, her ‘find my phone’ service showed the phone had been switched on in Wembley.

When she called the police, she claimed she was told a specialist team traced phones and she would have to call back in the morning to speak to them.

When she called back in the morning, she alleged, she was told they only responded to live locations and as the phone was no longer online, they would not look for it.

“I think the investigating officer must be part-time,” said Rasi. “I’ve been calling him for a week and had no response.”

She has made a formal complaint.

Met Police

The Met confirmed it was investigating the robbery.

“Officers attended the location and a man, aged in his 40s, was arrested close to the scene,” the force said.

“He has since been released on police bail, pending further enquiries, to a date in late August. Enquiries into the circumstances continue.”

Police urged anyone with information to dial 101 and quote CAD 3632/21Jul.

To give information anonymously, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.