A heavily armed gang took over a southern Brazilian city overnight — grabbing hostages, shooting two people, robbing a bank and leaving a street littered with cash, according to reports.
Roughly 30 hooded suspects descended onto the streets of Criciúma in the state of Santa Catarina in 10 cars just before midnight in a takeover that lasted around two hours, Globo News reported.
The city’s mayor, Clésio Salvaro, told reporters the “bandits” had looted three or four sites — including a Bank of Brazil branch.
Several people were taken hostage and forced to block streets to stymie the ensuing response from authorities, photos from the outlet show. They were later released without injury, according to Salvaro.
At least two people were shot and wounded, including a police officer and a guard. The officer, who was struck in the chest, was listed in stable condition, the outlet reported.
Video posted to Twitter early Tuesday appears to show city streets littered with cash — and residents scurrying to grab as much as they can while laughing in amazement at their find.
Mr Salvaro warned Criciúma’s 217,000 residents late Monday to “stay at home,” telling them that the city had been targeted in a “major assault.”
“I have no idea where they are from, but they are specialised,” Mr Salvaro said. “We have never experienced this in the history of the city.”
Four people who grabbed some of the cash left behind — about $207,000— were arrested for theft, a Globo News reporter tweeted early Tuesday. Cops also recovered another $77,240 that had been scattered on the streets, Globo News reported.
The 10 cars used in the onslaught were later found in a cornfield on private property in neighbouring Nova Veneza. The amount of cash stolen during the heist had not yet been calculated as of early Tuesday, Globo News reported.
The state-run bank said in a statement it will remain closed, adding that it doesn’t provide details of amounts stolen during an “attack on its premises,” the outlet reported.
This article originally appeared on the New York Post and was reproduced with permission