Like a can: Burglars use 2 excavators to rip open van with $2.3mn
The incident, more suitable for a Hollywood action movie than an actual police report, took place on Wednesday as the van carrying $2.3 worth of pensions to the southern Italian city of Matera was stopped by masked men.
#Bari, spettacolare rapina ad un furgone portavalori sulla statale 96 barese. La banda ha bloccato la strada con 2 camion dati alle fiamme e poi ha sventrato il mezzo con una ruspa. E' caccia ai rapinatori. Al #Tg2rai ore 20,30 pic.twitter.com/1m2ANjp4aY— Tg2 (@tg2rai) January 2, 2019
It was reported that the gang members were armed with machine guns, but no shots were fired. Instead of making the accompanying guards open the truck, the thieves took matters in their own hands. They blocked the road with two trucks, setting them alight, and used two giant shovels to peel the van of its outer layer to get to the money.
As soon as they completed the heist, the men jumped into a car waiting for them nearby and shot away with the money plundered from the pensioners.
Bari commando armato rapina furgone portavalori. Il mezzo è stato bloccato e scardinato con una ruspa. Bottino due milioni di euro. I rapinatori sono in fuga. Tra poco al #Tg3pic.twitter.com/ysCtDuzLCg— Tg3 (@Tg3web) January 2, 2019
The circumstances of the crime indicate that it took the robbers much time and planning to prepare. The diggers they used on the van had been standing on the very same road for quite some time. They did not attract any attention as road works were being carried out there.
None of the guards were injured, and it’s unclear if they were armed. According to witnesses, there were four or five attackers who are now on the run.
One of the guards said the robbers acted so swiftly and in such a deliberate manner that they did not have time to compose themselves for an appropriate response.
A guard, cited by Italian Il Messaggero newspaper, said that he was in a state of shock and almost fainted as the robbers began using diggers on the van.
Hot pursuit by police was impossible due to the fire from the burning trucks and heavy machinery barricading the road.
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