THE city of itajubá, 451 km from Belo Horizonte, became a scene of conflict during the night of this Wednesday (22). Criminals, heavily armed, carried out an organized action to city bank attack. Residents recorded the invasion with an exchange of fire.
According to the Military Police, at least 12 people are involved in the crime. At around 11:30 pm, the gang surrounded the bank branch and the corporation’s battalions. Also according to the PM, the group’s intention was to steal jewelry from the pawn, but they were unable to break into the safe.
During the action, which lasted about 30 minutes, shots were exchanged and at least four police officers were hit, in addition to a resident of the municipality. One of the agents was shot in the arm by a rifle and had to undergo surgery, but it is not life-threatening. The other three soldiers were less seriously injured.
A student who was passing by at the time of the attack was also shot in the leg. Police spokeswoman Captain Layla Brunella said he was not seriously injured.
According to Lieutenant Colonel Flávio Santiago, the criminals are equipped with heavy weapons. “They are terrorists. There is not much negotiation with these people, because they have heavy weapons: 50-point rifles”, he reported.
After the confrontation with the PM, the criminals split into two groups and fled towards São Paulo using about six cars. One of those involved was arrested. The Minas Gerais security force, including BOPE (Special Police Operations Battalion), is committed to the incident and has surrounded towns in the rural area of the south of the state. The Military Police of the state of São Paulo were called to reinforce patrolling on the border of the territory.
“The PM continues this siege with great caution so that the lives of these soldiers are protected. I have faith that the police action in response to the attack will be matched with the arrest of the perpetrators,” said Santiago.
A vehicle with blood marks was found in the municipality of Extrema, also in the south of Minas. It is suspected that the car belongs to the group.
‘New cangaço’ in MG
In October last year, a police action prevented the attack on a Banco do Brasil distribution center in Varginha, 320 km from Belo Horizonte. During the action, 26 criminals died.
Investigations revealed that they were part of the so-called “new cangaço”, which are gangs specializing in bank robberies and operating in small towns. At the time, the PM seized an arsenal, including weapons for restricted use by the Armed Forces, and a machine gun used in war attacks.
“As you are going to face people who are prepared for a war, you have to come with a lot of strength. Normally, we are shot at, they are not “slipper feet”. If we don’t act, society pays too high a price and we won’t allow that in our state,” said Lieutenant Colonel Flávio Santiago.
The process about the operation is being processed through a police investigation registered in the Federal Court of Varginha. The PM considers that the investigation should be conducted by the Military Justice of Minas Gerais.
“The Military Judiciary Police conducts this investigation and is transparent. We are open to all these bodies and we always have been,” Santiago said on the matter.