Hundreds of pounds worth of notes and coins were sent flying into the air when three police officers wrestled a man to the ground in front of stunned bank customers in Skegness, Lincolnshire.
The man had entered Barclays bank holding a grey bucket at 1pm on Monday when the branch was packed with customers waiting to make transactions.
Police stormed into the bank and arrested him, leaving money scattered over the floor.
Customers watched as the officers pinned the man down while another scrambled on her hands and knees as she picked up the money.
An eyewitness, who was in the queue waiting to see a cashier, said: "The man was being served at the counter and he was carrying a little bucket.
"Customers presumed some kind of bank robbery had been foiled."
But Chief Insp Jim Tyner said: "There was no robbery. Officers were making an arrest for an unrelated matter."
A spokesman for Barclays East Midlands region said: "The incident was not bank related. He was a wanted man who happened to be at the bank at the time of the arrest."
With short video.