crime scene

Armed robbers attacked an armoured security vehicle in France's Lyon in broad daylight and escaped with $10.6 million (€9 million) cash leaving no trail behind. Several armed robbers attacked the vehicle belonging to Loomis security company at around 9 a.m. local time just as it came out of the Bank of France in Lyon. This is the biggest cash heist in France since 2009 when notorious robber Toni Musulin made off €11.6m, even though most of which was recovered.

No injuries were reported during the heist, but the three cash escorts, two men and a woman, are shaken up by the incident, Loomis trade unionist Kader Bengueche said, according to AFP. But they would see a psychologist on Monday.

How did the heist take place?

The cash heist happened swiftly. The security vehicle carrying the cash for bank transfer was blocked by two vans, one in the front and another in the back. The armed robbers then threatened the driver, took the money and fled in two vehicles.

The vehicles used by the perps were later found to be burnt, leaving no evidence behind. The police and regional specialists have already opened an investigation into the heist.

Biggest cash heist in France

"It was an audacious attack, right in the city centre," Loomis chief executive Michel Tresch told AFP.

Faulty lock system?

While the investigation is underway, two colleagues of the attacked security team believe it might be the faulty locking system in the security vehicles that led to the quick execution of the heist. The security code on the armoured vans is supposed to be changed for each run, but the attacked vehicle had a "permanent code," which reportedly saved time for the robbers.

Loomis armoured vehicle

"There is clearly a fault on the part of the company," one colleague who wished not to be named was quoted as saying by AFP. The driver of the attacked vehicle was a former shooting instructor trained in "defensive driving," according to one security guard.

History of heists involving Loomis

While the faulty lock system might be a major giveaway, it's not the first time Loomis has been attacked. Over the years, there have been several instances of robberies of Loomis vehicles. For instance, in May 2017, €35m worth of cash, diamonds and gold ingots were stolen from one of Loomis' vehicles in Switzerland. In December 2016, 70kg gold dust worth €2.5m was stolen near Lyon from one of Loomis vehicles.