Police officers from the BOPE bomb squad, the Special Operations Battalion of the Military Police of Minas Gerais, worked on the night of this Thursday (23) to remove the explosives that were left by criminals during the attack on the Caixa Econômica Federal branch in Itajubá. (MG).
- See what is known about the attack
In all, four explosives were left at the agency, two on the first floor and two on the second floor. The BOPE police arrived at the agency around 5 pm to remove the artifacts. By 8pm, work was still going on at the site.
Due to the presence of bombs at the agency, it has not yet been possible to know whether the criminals managed to gain access to the pawn vault, which would be the gang’s main target.
BOPE bomb squad removes explosives left by robbers at a bank branch in Itajubá – Photo: Reproduction EPTV
Police continue to search the region for the criminals. It is suspected that at least 12 people participated in the attack. A 33-year-old man was arrested during a confrontation with police in Brazópolis, a city neighboring Itajubá. Five people were injured during the action, including four military police officers.
Residents record attack by robbers at bank branch in Itajubá (MG)
Four police officers and a resident were injured during the action of armed criminals on Wednesday night (22) in Itajubá, in the south of Minas. The assailants attacked a Caixa Econômica Federal branch in the center of the city and exchanged fire with the police. The Military Police (PM) confirmed that the agency’s pawn vault was attacked, but there is no information if anything was taken.
The Military and Civil Police of Minas Gerais work together this Thursday (23) in the search for suspects of involvement in the attempted robbery. The PM reported that, after the action in Itajubá, the criminals split into two convoys, one towards Pouso Alegre and the other towards São Lourenço, by Maria da Fé. The robbers left four bombs inside the bank branch, according to the Itajubá Municipal Guard. Until the last update of this report, at 3:30 pm, the explosives were still in the building, two on the 1st floor and another two on the second floor.
In an official note released during the dawn (see end of report), the Municipality of Itajubá asked the population to remain calm and in a safe place, avoiding moving around the city.
In an interview with EPTV, the PM’s spokeswoman, Major Layla Brunnela, said that two police officers were shot during the action of the robbers – one in the shoulder and the other in the arm. She also stated that the corporation is investigating a complaint that one of the suspects was shot and would be hiding in the rural area of the city.
Seven vehicles used in the robbery were seized by the PM. Three of them were found in Cachoeira de Minas, according to the major. A car was abandoned on a dirt road in Extrema. Another vehicle was also located in Itajubá.
Another car was found with bloodstains in the Banhado neighborhood, in Brazópolis. Inside was explosive material, cell phones, chargers, fuel and signs of multiple bullet holes. In this place there would have been a shootout between police and criminals and the arrest of a suspect.
On BR-459, several miguelitos were also seized, a type of nail that were thrown on the highway to try to prevent police cars and vehicles from passing through the site.
On Thursday morning, the PM had reported that three more suspects had been arrested; however, only one suspect remains in custody, located by the police at dawn. The PM reported that it is investigating a complaint that there is a suspect bleeding in rural Brazópolis.
The Municipality of Itajubá and the PM reported that a resident who was passing by at the time of the attack was shot in the left leg and needed to be rescued to a city hospital.
Initially, the Military Police had reported that the action had left seven people injured – two residents and five police officers; later, he updated the data: there are four police officers and one injured resident.
The press office of the Federal University of Itajubá (Unifei) reported that the injured resident is a student at the institution, who was hit inside his car. The university also informed that he has already been released from the hospital and that he will be taken to São José dos Campos (SP), where his family lives.
Armed robbers attack Caixa Econômica Federal branch in downtown Itajubá, MG — Photo: Reproduction Social Networks
On social media, residents posted videos showing gunmen and noises of intense gunfire around the city. In other videos, what would be hostages appear.
Before the attack on the bank branch, criminals robbed an app driver and took her car to an area close to a PM headquarters in the city, according to information from the Municipal Guard of Itajubá. Then, the group split: part attacked and shot the barracks with rifle shots and set fire to cars to make it difficult for the police, while the others invaded the bank.
Burglars attack a bank branch in Itajubá (MG) — Photo: Arte/g1
According to the first information, the criminals would not have been able to open the agency’s safe. In a note, Caixa Econômica Federal states that “information about criminal events in its units is passed on exclusively to police authorities, and ratifies that it fully cooperates with the investigations of Organs competent bodies”.
According to Lieutenant Colonel Flávio Santiago, from the PM’s press office in Minas Gerais, after the criminals fled Itajubá, there was a shooting in the region of Brazópolis and Paraisópolis, also in the south of the state; a suspect was arrested at the scene.
According to the PM, the arrest of the suspect should help in the investigations and also so that the other assailants are located and captured – the suspicion is that at least 12 people participated in the action in Itajubá.
Initially, it was reported that another shooting had taken place in SP, but the Minas Gerais PM updated the information and stated that there was no exchange of fire on the São Paulo side of the border. According to the PM of São Bento do Sapucaí (SP), criminals set fire to a vehicle in the city area, which borders Brazópolis, to prevent the passage of São Paulo police. Nobody was hurt.
Resident records sequence of shots during robbery at Caixa branch
Four bombs were dropped by robbers at the Caixa Econômica Federal branch in Itajubá, MG — Photo: Milton Guimarães/EPTV
According to the Military Police, the suspicion is that 12 people participated in the action in Itajubá. The Military Police reported that they are concentrating their searches in Itajubá and other municipalities in the area in search of the suspects, with the support of military personnel from other regions, in addition to the Federal Highway Police and the Military Police of São Paulo.
Also according to the PM, the military are also searching for rural properties in the region, as there is a possibility that criminals are hiding in them.
Intense trotting is recorded during robbery at the cash office in Itajubá
“They know the region very well and we believe that the great possibility of arresting these offenders and we continue with the operations (…). Our police officers are prepared, there was a lot of training. morning and day,” said Lieutenant Colonel Santiago.
PM reported that drones are being used during the search for criminals, in addition to aircraft and ground forces.
Note from the Municipality of itajubá:
Itajubá City Hall confirms that one person was injured in a bank attack – Photo: Reproduction