A machete-wielding bank robber escaped with a large amount of euros in a raid of a Belfast city centre bank today.
However he is believed to have abandoned most, if not all, of the money in a nearby street after a dye pellet hidden in the cash exploded.
The robber walked into the Northern Bank branch in Victoria Street and as he approached the counter pulled a scarf over his face.
Armed with what bank workers told police looked like a machete, he threatened staff and demanded they hand over cash.
The man then reached over the counter and grabbed a large quantity of euro notes from a drawer and stuffed them into a black bin bag, said a police spokeswoman.
The robber then grabbed a male bank customer and used him as a hostage to get through the double secure doors of the branch before running off.
When he had made it the short distance to Gordon Street the dye pellet is understood to have activated forcing the raider to abandon the bin bag and most if not all of the euro notes.
Police said later they were examining a number of items left in Gordon Street.
The man was said to be aged about 20, 5ft 8 inches tall, slim and with sandy coloured hair.