This weeks round up of the local news from Fethiye, Oludeniz, Hisaronu and area includes gang steals 40,000 TL from bank staff, fire flighting helicopter crashes killing five and Fethiye bread makers get top marks.

Police Search for Gang of Three that Stole 40,000 TL

A rather ingenious robbery took place this week when two members of Fethiye Ziraat Bank staff set out with 80,000TL in a bag to fill up two ATMs.

Their first stop was the cash machine outside the Forestry Commission offices near the Fethiye Tuesday Market.

They parked in a car park and walked to the machine, filled it and returned to the car to find the left hand front tyre was flat.

The man carrying the bag with the money (only 40,000TL in it now) put it on the back seat, and the two of them set about changing the flat tyre.

Of course, other people quickly got involved (this is Turkey after all) and helped them with the tyre change.

It was only after the spare was in place and all tools, etc., put away in the boot that they noticed one of the car’s rear doors was open, and the bag with the money was gone. Thanks to the ever increasing numbers of CCTV cameras in town the whole story was quickly pieced together.

The bank employees had been followed from the bank by three men in another car.

They had pierced the tyre while the bank men were filling the ATM.

Then they turned up to ‘help’ change the flat tyre during which process one of them opened the back door, grabbed the bag and ran.

Police are now searching for the gang of three – we’ll let you know when they’re caught.

Residents of Fethiye Can Buy Pide with Confidence

The Zabita were out and about this week on the environmental health trail and, as we are in Ramazan, they were specifically checking bakeries for their pide production.

Traditionally pide was only produced during Ramazan, although it is now available year round.

Readers will be pleased to know that they found all bakeries visited were complying with hygiene rules, had price lists on display, and were selling pide of the correct official weight per loaf.

Head of Zabita, Halime Ok, told local press “Residents of Fethiye can buy pide with confidence”.

Fire Fighting Helicopter Crash Dominates the News

And the rest of the news on local press agency websites was taken up with the fire fighting helicopter crash near Köyceğiz, in which five men died – three of them Russian citizens, employed as helicopter pilots by the Forestry Commission.

The scene of the accident, the district of Otmanlar near to Köyceğiz, is the place which has most forest fires in Muğla according to annual statistics.

Last week eight separate fires broke out there on Tuesday and were quickly put out by the helicopter, only to start again on Wednesday.

They were extinguished for the second time, but reappeared on Thursday afternoon when the accident happened.

It is believed the helicopter had dumped its water on the fires, but then the water tank got tangled in trees and pulled the helicopter down.

The Forestry Commission is now working with local police and Jandarma to try and discover what/who started the fires that caused this tragedy.