Thieves in Nice, France, escaped with an estimated GBP 6 million (11.6 million U.S. dollars)?
GV Bank exterior (2 shots)
SV Manhole into sewer system
GV PAN Crowds outside bank
SCU Police carry out robbery equipment from manhole (3 shots)
SCU Pick an electric cable PAN TO manhole
SV Police examining robbery equipment inside van
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Background: Thieves in Nice, France, escaped with an estimated GBP 6 million (11.6 million U.S. dollars) in what is thought to be the world's biggest bank robbery. The theft was discovered on Monday night (19 June).
SYNOPSIS: The thieves rifled 300 safe deposit boxes and five safes after cutting into the strong room of the Societe General Bank.
The thieves tunnelled into the bank from the sewer system, digging a 20-foot (6 metre) passage to the vaults. After cutting into the strong room, they welded the doors shut from the inside. Bank employees thought the 50-year old doors had hammed and it wasn't until Monday night that experts were called in to cut them open.
Police searched for clues to the identity of the gang among the debris and safe breaking equipment the thieves left behind. A police spokesman said there were at least six thieves involved and they had made a very professional job of the robbery. The police were unable to say whether the gang had received help from any bank employees.
More than 300 people besieged the bank when the robbery became public, demanding to know if their jewels and money had been stolen.
A spokesman for the bank reassured the customers they would be compensated for any thefts from safe deposit boxes. Depositors were admitted a few at a time to give details of the contents of their boxes. Police were unable to give the exact loss until all the owners of deposit boxes had been interviewed.