Big gold theft from armoured truck in France

2016-12-12 17:24
Thieves robbed an armoured truck loaded with gold in Dardilly, near Lyon, central France before setting it ablaze on a major highway. (Laurent Cipriani, AP)

Thieves robbed an armoured truck loaded with gold in Dardilly, near Lyon, central France before setting it ablaze on a major highway. (Laurent Cipriani, AP)

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Paris - Police said they are hunting fields and towns in southeast France for four thieves who stole dozens of kilograms of gold Monday from an armoured truck before setting cars ablaze near a major highway.

The thieves, operating in two cars, surrounded the armoured truck and forced it off the A6 highway between Paris and Lyon, a national gendarme service spokesperson said.

They then seized the gold, locked the two delivery men in the back of the truck, and set one of their own cars on fire before fleeing, according to the spokesman.

He said the flames spread to three other cars nearby and were threatening to engulf the armoured truck as well, but local police intervened thanks to a tip-off from a witness and rescued the two men in time. The other cars appeared to have been parked and unoccupied, he said.

Police vehicles and a helicopter are searching the surrounding area around the town of Dardilly, the spokesperson said on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorised to give details about an ongoing investigation.

Scientific police studied the charred hulls of the cars and the empty truck, operated by security company Loomis.

While France occasionally sees big jewel thefts and has seen a couple of high-profile highway heists, it's rare to see a large-scale gold robbery like this, gendarmes said.

The spokesperson said dozens of kilograms of gold were stolen. With gold selling for more than $37 000 a kilogram, the value of the theft could top $1 million.

Authorities did not identify the attackers, or release details of who owned the gold or where it was going.

Read more on:    france  |  robbery

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