Thai police say a masked Australian man robbed a bank in Bangkok in 12 seconds using a fake gun before being caught nearby.

Metropolitan police chief Lt. Gen. Sanit Mahathavorn says the 23-year-old man walked into the bank Monday morning yelling "Money!" He said the man pointed the fake gun at the tellers, who handed over 170,000 baht ($4,800) that he ran away with.

But Sanit said the man had barely run a few hundred meters (yards) before police patrolling nearby caught him with the stolen money.

He said the man told the police he had come to Thailand a month ago and had run out of money. Sanit said the man decided to rob the bank to buy a plane ticket back home.