A gang invaded a courthouse in Diadema, a city next to São Paulo, and stole 391 guns. The thieves surrendered three guards and managed to walk away with 297 revolvers, 87 pistols, and 3 submachine guns, as well as other guns and bulletproof vests.
The police are looking for security camera footage in hope of identifying the criminals.
Other courthouse heists
This is not, in fact, the first time that such an incident has occurred. At the beginning of the month, another courthouse in São Paulo was robbed. Gangs took at least 175 guns from a Guarujá courthouse, and also stole a car and cell phones. The justice department has ordered the destruction of the weapons.
The state police are investigating the case. Images from a security camera show a van entering the courthouse’s parking lot, however investigators have not yet identified any suspects.
A courthouse in the state of Espírito Santo was also a robbed. In March, criminal groups stole 150 guns and other items from the courthouse in the city of Serra, near the state capital Vitória.
In this case, the robbers were far more creative. They rented a building next to the courthouse, normally used for parties and events. Near the wall dividing the two properties, they set up a tent to hide a hole made to gain access to the court. As with the other two incidents, the court decided to destroy the guns since they are illegal – although they once again wound up in the hands of criminals.
Courthouses are an easy target
Thieves are dedicating themselves to robbing courthouses because of poor security and the abundance of guns. Military and police bases usually have several officers guarding the building.
Yet courthouses typically have only a few hired security guards, and they can do little against heavily armed burglars.