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3 Jul, 2007 19:56

Robbers net 20 MLN roubles in St. Petersberg

Three gunmen in St. Petersburg have stolen 20 MLN rubles, or more than $US 700,000, from two men who were transporting it to the city's Technology Institute. It's the latest in a series of brazen heists in the city.

It should have been a good day for the staff of the Technology Institute and a busy one for the accounting department, as it was a pay day. But they became just the latest victims of a growing trend in the city.

Criminals are targeting money men in broad daylight, seemingly with little fear of getting caught.

Three gunmen reportedly attacked the car when it stopped at the Technology Institute gates. The head of security was injured. The criminals took all the money, including the salaries of the Institute staff.

The investigation is ongoing.

If the money was insured, it will be returned. If not, the Institute directors will have to find another way of calming the fears of staff, though many remain optimistic.

“I'm sure our director will sort everything out. He is very responsible,” an Institute worker believes.

A similar robbery occurred in April, also at a gateway. Then three robbers attacked the driver and the guard, took money and put both men into the boot of a car.

The police found the car at the other side of the city several hours later, with the men in the boot still alive. No one has been arrested yet.

According to Russia's Ministry of Internal Affairs, more than 600,000 thefts and robberies were registered in the first four months of this year and only 3% of them were solved.