23 September 2009

SWAT team goes in as daring thieves use helicopter to break through roof of Stockholm cash depot

23rd September 2009

In scenes straight out of a Hollywood action film, robbers used a helicopter today to pull off the spectacular raid of a cash depot in Stockholm.

Witnesses watched in horror as the helicopter broke through the roof of the building and then flew off laden down with bags of cash in a pre-dawn heist.

And police were unable to give chase in their own helicopters as a bag of suspected explosives had mysteriously been placed at their hangar.

Attack: Battering ram at the ready, members of a police Swat team enter a G4S cash depot in Stockholm today after a daring helicopter robbery

Shortly after 5 am local time, the robbers jumped onto the roof of the cash depot belonging to security firm G4S and smashed a window to enter the building, police spokeswoman Ulrika Lonngren told broadcaster SVT.

Terrified staff were inside the building at the time - but all escaped injury.

Witnesses said they heard loud bangs during the heist, but in the mayhem that ensued it was difficult to tell if explosives had been used.

Witness Bjorn Lockstrom told broadcaster TV4 he saw a grey helicopter hovering above the building for about 15 minutes.

'Two men hoisted themselves down,' he said. 'I saw when they hoisted up money, too.'

It is not clear how much money the thieves were able to escape with.

Stolen: Police examine the helicopter they believe was used in the raid, later found in a field outside Stockholm

Police later found an abandoned helicopter near a lake north of Stockholm. The chopper was reported stolen and was believed to be the one used by the robbers.

Sweden has seen a series of spectacular robberies in recent years.

Last year a group of men broke into a mail processing centre in Goteborg, paralysing large parts of Sweden's second-largest city after spreading out spikes, burning out cars in several different areas and leaving suspected explosive devices in the centre.

In 2006, Goteborg's international airport was partially closed after a group of masked men crashed through a gate and held up luggage handlers as they were unloading crates of foreign currency worth 7.8 million kronor ($1.1 million) from a passenger aircraft.

Four years earlier, robbers pulled off a similar heist at Stockholm's Arlanda Airport, when staff were loading foreign currency worth 43 million kronor onto an aircraft. - www.dailymail.co.uk

Members of the SWAT team search the roof of the depot

Terrified staff are loaded on to a bus and escorted to safety by waiting officers

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