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The great Swedish robbery

Robbers used a stolen helicopter and explosives to engineer a spectacular raid on a cash depot in Stockholm on Wednesday, breaking into the building through the roof and flying off with bags of cash, police and officials said.

world Updated: Sep 24, 2009 00:31 IST

Robbers used a stolen helicopter and explosives to engineer a spectacular raid on a cash depot in Stockholm on Wednesday, breaking into the building through the roof and flying off with bags of cash, police and officials said.

The daring pre-dawn heist stunned police in the Swedish capital, who were unable to deploy their own helicopters to the scene because suspected explosives had been placed at their hangar.

The security company that owns the facility, G4S PLC, said the thieves had made off with “an unconfirmed sum of money” and added it would offer a large reward for information leading to their arrest and the return of the loot.

The company did not give an exact amount for the reward.

Shortly after 5 am, the robbers flew over the building, jumped onto its roof and smashed a window to enter the cash depot, police spokeswoman Ulrika Lonngren told broadcaster SVT.

There were staff inside the building, but no one was injured, she said.

Witnesses reported hearing loud bangs during the heist. G4S said in a statement that the robbers had used explosives during the heist, but did not elaborate.

Witness Bjorn Lockstrom told broadcaster TV4 he saw a gray helicopter hovering above the building for about 15 minutes. “Two men hoisted themselves down,” he said. “I saw when they hoisted up money, too.”

A police Swat team was seen desperately trying to enter the cash depot in the Vastberga neighborhood with a battering ram. Police later found an abandoned helicopter near a lake north of Stockholm, about 25 kilometres from the cash depot.

Police spokeswoman Towe Hagg said the chopper was reported stolen and was believed to be the one used by the robbers.