A group of criminals terrorized the city of Araçatuba, in the interior of São Paulo, during an attack on three bank branches this morning. The gang spread explosives in downtown streets and used residents as a shield in their escape. At least three people died and another three were injured. Also according to the SSP (Secretary of Public Security), two people were detained.
The attack took place in the center of the city, where several bank branches are located. Images circulating on social networks, made by residents, show the minutes of voltage while the group fired through the streets.
After the robbery, criminals went out into the streets and were approaching people who were in the way and stealing their vehicles. One of the videos shows two men taken hostage hanging—one from the ceiling, the other from the hood—outside one of the escape cars.
“We are living in a moment of terror. I live a few blocks from the Center. I heard all the shots, following them through videos, I did not leave the house and I ask the population to stay at home”, said Mayor Dilador Borges (PSDB) in an interview with Good Morning São Paulo, from TV Globo.
By decision of the City Hall, classes in municipal schools are suspended. The same was recommended for the state network. Public transport was also suspended in the downtown area.
According to FORolicia Civil de Araçatuba, among the dead, two would be civilians — one victim was found dead inside a car and the other lying on the street — and the third would be a criminal, killed during a confrontation with the police in the rural Taveira neighborhood.
the stolen value of the branches has not yet been confirmed, but they would have accessed an underground vault at one of the banks.
On social networks, the images of residents show the moments of panic experienced at dawn because they were in the region of the shootings and the hostages, used as shields:
In a statement, the SSP said that “searches are underway to locate the criminals. Territorial units of the MP from Araçatuba, with the support of teams from Bauru, São José do Rio Preto and Presidente Prudente, as well as Águia and the Civil Police participate. of the steps”.
A team from the GATE (Special Tactical Action Group) is also traveling to the municipality to dismantle the explosives left behind by criminals.
PM Lieutenant Captain Luiz, a spokesman for the SSP, told the news that 20 to 30 people took part in the attacks and said that all hostages have already been released.
According to the force, at least ten cars were used in the action and some entrances to the city were closed by the gang to prevent police reinforcements from reaching the scene.
The case is being investigated by the DEIC of Araçatuba, with the support of the 5th Police Precinct for Investigations into Theft and Robbery of Banks, of the State Department of Criminal Investigations (DEIC).
In July, a gang robbed a gold factory in the interior
In July, another city in the interior of São Paulo was the scene of a major robbery. A 15-man gang assaulted a gold jewelry factory in Jarinu and two markets, exchanged fire with police and set fire to at least four vehicles, closing off the two-way access.
According to reports from residents, criminals arrived at the front of the factory in several vehicles and fired rifle shots at the security guardhouse. There was an exchange of fire between the police and criminals in points in the cities of Campo Limpo Paulista and Atibaia, close to Jarinu. No one was hurt, and no one was arrested.