Authorities Estimate that $10 Million Taken in Armored Car RobberyAP , Associated Press
Jun. 26, 1990 5:34 PM ET
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) _ More than $10 million was stolen by gunmen Tuesday morning during an armored car robbery, authorities said.
Monroe County Sheriff Andrew P. Meloni said the robbery occurred at about 7:20 a.m. in suburban Henrietta.
''It certainly was planned - no question about that - and was obviously rather successful,'' Meloni said.
The amount stolen was $10.8 million, according to other law enforcement sources contacted by the Rochester Times-Union. Meloni said he could not confirm the amount.
The theft could be the second largest of its kind in U.S. history.
The FBI's public affairs office in Washington, D.C., said its records indicate the largest theft from an armored car in United States history was $11 million taken in 1982 from a Sentry Armored Car Courier Co. office in the New York City. In 1983, $7 million was stolen from a Wells Fargo armored car office in Hartford, Conn.
Sheriff's department spokesman Tom Ryan said the armored car robbed Tuesday was owned by Armored Motor Service of America Inc., of Chili.
The car's male driver and a female employee had stopped at a delicatessen to get coffee and sandwiches, Ryan said. While the woman went into the deli, the driver was confronted by a gunman who managed to get into the truck and take control of the vehicle, the employees told police.
When the woman returned, the gunman ordered the two to drive to a more rural location about a half mile away, Ryan said.
The money was then transferred from the armored truck to another vehicle, believed to be a gray van, Ryan said. The armored car company workers were taped-up and had their wrists bound.
At least one of the gunmen wore a mask.
After the robbers fled the scene in the second vehicle, the employees said they took about 15 minutes to free themselves, authorities said. They returned to the armored car company offices and notified the sheriff's office of the robbery at 7:38 a.m., Ryan said.
''We're dealing with people who had a well laid-out plan,'' said Capt. Neil Flood, commander of the sheriff's office Criminal Investigation Division.
The two employees were not injured, Ryan said.
Meloni said investigators were working closely with the FBI and were interviewing the driver and the assistant. The armored truck has been checked for fingerprints, he said, and examined for other clues. Investigators were looking into records and routes of the armored vehicle and were questioning other people in the area, he said.
The money was to be transported to the Federal Reserve Bank in Buffalo, which serves as a source of coin and currency for banks throughout western New York. Banks, in turn, send surplus money to the Federal Reserve for storage.