Security van attackers arrested in Switzerland and France

The burnt-out remains of several vehicles following the heist in June 2019 Keystone

Thirteen suspects involved in a robbery of an armoured car in Mont-sur-Lausanne, western Switzerland, in June 2019 have been arrested. The haul from the heist was estimated at CHF25 million ($27.5 million).

This content was published on November 18, 2020 - 18:20

Police arrested five people in canton Vaud and eight around the French city of Lyon on Tuesday. They are suspected of having been involved in various capacities in the attack on a van belonging to a private armoured vehicle company, Vaud cantonal police said.

One suspect had already been arrested in Spain in the summer of 2019 at the request of the Vaud public prosecutor. The Frenchman from the Lyon region was extradited to Switzerland and is still in custody. Investigations are continuing to determine his role.

The attackers had blocked the armoured car in the industrial zone of Mont-sur-Lausanne with several vehicles and forced the couriers to leave the vehicle at gunpoint. They then set fire to several vehicles and escaped with part of the money.

Same MO

The attack was not the first of its kind in Vaud. A year earlier, an armoured car was robbed in Mont-sur-Lausanne. Just under a month ago, police arrested seven people suspected of robbing two armoured cars in La Sarraz in August 2019.

Between 2017 and 2019 there were further attacks following the same pattern in Nyon (May 2017), Chavornay (February 2018) and Daillens (December 2019). The perpetrators’ actions were always the same: the robbers threatened the security guards with guns, blew up the van to get the money, fired at the vehicles before fleeing to neighbouring France.

After the series of attacks, canton Vaud took security measures. For example, cash may now only be transported in heavily armoured vehicles and the amount of money has been limited to CHF10 million.

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