Armed gang uses sewerage system to rob Milan bank – The Guardian

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A gang of armed robbers has broken into a bank in Milan by crawling through a sewerage network, stealing several safe-deposit boxes and escaping the same way.

The carefully planned heist began shortly after 8.30am on Tuesday, when two of the robbers walked into the main entrance of a Crédit Agricole branch on Piazza Ascoli and and pointed guns at the staff, Italian media reported. Two accomplices then emerged from a manhole inside the bank that connects to an underground tunnel.

The gang scuffled with the bank manager, who yelled “It’s a robbery”, and held him and another staff member hostage as dozens of police officers surrounded the bank. A third employee managed to escape.

Police sealed off the area before entering the bank, but the robbers activated a fire extinguisher, creating confusion and giving them time to escape back down the manhole. Several officers reportedly followed them into the sewers but lost them.

The robbers took 20 safe-deposit boxes, but it is not yet clear what they contained.

The bank manager was reportedly hit on the head with the butt of a gun, but no other staff were harmed. Speaking to reporters outside the bank after the ordeal, the manager said: “They entered from the basement. There were three of us inside when I realised what was happening and shouted. There was a short scuffle but they did not beat me.”

Milan prosecutors have opened an investigation.

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