A 16-year-old French girl suspected of holding up seven banks was formally charged with armed robbery, a prosecutor said, according to Reuters.

The teen was arrested on Wednesday as she was fleeing the scene of an armed robbery at an HSBC bank branch in the suburb of Maisons-Alfort, south-east of Paris.

Investigators believe the girl played a crucial role in six previous bank robberies since the beginning of July, threatening staff with a gun to force them to open security doors to let in two or three masked accomplices.

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The hold-up gang made off with hundreds of thousands of euros after spraying tear gas into the banks to cover their escape.

The teen robber had no previous criminal record and her family was not known to police.

Reuters, Staff