The Italian Job: Thieves Steal $2.3 Million From Armored Van Using Backhoes

Construction equipment ripped open the van like a tin of sardines.

via Twitter (@SkyTG24)

No, this isn't the plot of a new blockbuster film, but it certainly does play out like one. In a bizarre series of events on a highway in southern Italy, thieves made off with millions after they (quite literally) scooped the cash from an armored van using a pair of backhoes.

According to local news sources, the armored van was transporting nearly $2.3 million (2 million euros) in cash meant to fulfill pensions for Poste Italiane, AKA the Italian Post Office, when the thieves struck.

Between four and five armed gang members reportedly blocked the road using burning trucks and confronted the armored van when it came to a stop. Using the construction equipment, the roof of the van was peeled off like a tin of sardines, exposing the payload of cash inside for the thieves to grab. The bandits then poached their prize and placed it into a nearby car which they would use to escape, leaving the van's three guards unharmed and no shots fired.

To make matters even more interesting, efforts from police to pursue the suspects were thwarted due to the road blockage. The burning trucks and now abandoned construction equipment provided a palisade on the freeway, preventing authorities from following the cash.

Locals say that the backhoes had been sitting in the path of the trucks for several days, however, did not attract any suspicion because of nearby roadwork. The guards confirm that the heist was so coordinated that they were unable to promptly respond, allowing the thieves to carry out their mission.