A bank robbery with a difference took place this week in Redwood City, California.
The two masked bandits weren’t after cash, or bearer bonds, but almond biscuits.
The pair of raccoons were spotted in the middle of their crime caper by a customer using the cashpoint at Peninsula Bank, early on Tuesday morning.
At first, he thought one of the furry felons was a stuffed toy, but when it started moving he realised he was witnessing a tiny heist in progress and contacted Animal Control officers.
“They were in the break room eating a tin of almond cookies,” Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA spokeswoman Buffy Martin Tarbox told CNN.
“I guess they struck gold,” she added.
“When our team arrived,” she continued, “papers were everywhere and they’d rummaged through the trash cans.”
“There were several broken ceiling tiles on the floor and they had knocked over a computer monitor.”
But the raiders had passed over more conventional valuables in the bank in favour of a box of delicious-looking almond cookies.
One mystery remained. How the two small mammals had managed to get around the bank’s state-of-the-art security system and pull off their cookie caper.
“There were muddy paw prints on a tree outside the bank,” said Ms Tarbox, “so we suspect the raccoons climbed the tree to the roof of the bank, and then somehow managed to crawl into the air ducts and fell through the ceiling tiles onto the floor of the bank.”
The Animal Control agents had their work cut out getting the procyon outlaws to exit the bank.
There was a 10-minute chase around the bank – involving even more items being tipped over – before the raccoons eventually left.
“It’s not every day an animal organisation gets called to deal with a bank break-in,” Ms Tarbox said.
‘But since the bank robbers were masked bandits of the wildlife kind,” she added, “we were indeed the appropriate responders.”