Masked Robbers Steal Millions in St. Louis

Police Officers investigate the robbery of an armored car Monday, Aug. 2, 2010, in St. Louis' theater district where four armed bandits overpowered two workers at an ATM-servicing business, then used an armored vehicle to haul away possibly millions of dollars in a well-orchestrated heist. Police said the robbers subdued the workers at ATM Solutions Inc., with duct tape and locked them inside a vault, but neither was injured. (AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Emily Rasinski)
AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Four armed bandits clad from head to toe in black overpowered two workers at an ATM-servicing business Monday, then used an armored vehicle to haul away possibly millions of dollars in a well-orchestrated heist.

CBS affiliate KMOV in St. Louis reports that an ATM Solutions armored vehicle was stolen around 5:00 a.m. on Monday. The robbery happened in the 3700 block of Grandel in midtown St. Louis near the Fox Theatre.

Neither of the employees at the ATM Solutions Inc. holdup was harmed by the masked suspects, St. Louis police Capt. Michael Caruso said.

The robbers subdued the workers with duct tape and locked them inside the vault after the raid, Caruso said. Some media outlets reported that the robbers made off with $4 million and $5 million. Caruso said he had no immediate details of how much was taken.

Authorities found the armored vehicle - a specially modified van - about 90 minutes later less than two miles away.

"You don't see anything like this every day," Caruso told reporters. "It's certainly alarming, to say the least. It was carefully planned. They knew what they were doing. They didn't appear to have any intent to hurt anybody, which is an important key here."

Caruso waved off a reporter's question as to whether there was any indication an employee of the business may have taken part in the heist, given the knowledge the suspects appeared to have about the business' routine. That's "totally unknown," Caruso said.

The FBI was assisting in the investigation, an agency spokeswoman said, declining additional comment beyond what police released.

Caruso said the four bandits waited for one of the business' employees to come to work, then rushed in behind him, disarmed and subdued him before waiting for a second employee to arrive, apparently knowing it took two workers to separately punch in access codes to open the vault.

Once inside the vault, Caruso said, the suspects bound the workers with duct tape, loaded up the cash in containers and fled, locking the two victims inside the vault unharmed.

Caruso said two of the suspects had semiautomatic pistols, one had a rifle and the fourth had an unspecified type of firearm. Bullets found scattered outside the business were from the victim's handguns that the suspects stole and emptied, Caruso said.

A black Pontiac Grand Am that may have been used in this incident was found in the 3700 block of Dr. Martin Luther King Dr. around 10:15 a.m.

Police planned to look at some surveillance video from the area, hoping it offered clues to the suspects' identities, Caruso said.

Cincinnati-based ATM Solutions replenishes cash in ATMs and maintains the machines for banks and other customers in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. A message left Monday with the company was not immediately returned.

Local Video from KMOV in St. Louis: