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HomeWorld NewsQuebec multinational GardaWorld hit by $30M heist at southern California storage facility...

Quebec multinational GardaWorld hit by $30M heist at southern California storage facility | CBC News

Thieves got away with $30 million US in cash from a money storage facility in Los Angeles by breaking into the building on Easter Sunday and cracking the safe. Now, detectives are seeking to unravel the brazen cash heist, reportedly one of the largest on record in Los Angeles.

Police Cmdr. Elaine Morales told The Los Angeles Times, which broke the news of the crime, that the thieves were able to breach the building, as well as the safe where the money was stored. The operators of the business did not discover the massive theft until they opened the vault.

Media reports identified the facility as a location of GardaWorld, a global cash management and security company, in Sylmar. The Canada-based company, which also operates fleets of armoured cars, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Associated Press.

LAPD Officer David Cuellar, a department spokesperson, confirmed that officers received a call for service at 4:30 a.m. Sunday at a business on the street where GardaWorld’s Sylmar location is.

Several TV news crews were filming outside the facility Thursday morning in an industrial part of the San Fernando Valley neighborhood, which is about 330 kilometres north of downtown Los Angeles.

Armoured trucks are parked outside the GardaWorld facility in the Sylmar section of Los Angeles on Thursday. Thieves stole as much $30 million US in an Easter Sunday burglary at a Los Angeles money storage facility, in one of the largest cash heists in the city’s history. (Richard Vogel/The Associated Press)

Aerial footage from KABC-TV showed a large cutout on the side of the building that appeared to be boarded up by a piece of plywood.

“To be able to get in undetected, to be able to get into an internal safe, to be able to remove that much property requires some knowledge of the alarm system, the layout of the place, the camera surveillance equipment,” said Jim McDonnell, a former sheriff for L.A. County. “Very well thought out, very well-orchestrated, if you will.”

Officials tight-lipped, seek information

The LAPD and FBI on Thursday would only say that they were jointly investigating the theft “to determine the person or group responsible.”

The agencies sought tips from the public, but they did not confirm how much was stolen or give other details, such as the name of the company.

The Times reported that the break-in was among the largest cash burglaries in city history and surpassed that of any armoured-car heist in Los Angeles.

LISTEN l The allure of heist stories:

The Current10:27Why Canadians are captivated by heist stories

Canada was captivated by news of a gold heist at Toronto Pearson International Airport. A container with $20 million in gold and other valuables was off-loaded from a plane and just vanished. Geoff Siskind is the executive producer of True North Heists, a podcast about capers on Canadian soil. He tells us why people are so taken by heist stories.

Nearly two years ago, as much as $100 million in jewels and other valuables were stolen from a Brink’s big rig at a southern California truck stop. The thieves haven’t been caught.

Jim McGuffey, an armoured car expert and security consultant, called the Sylmar theft “a shock.” Any such facility should have two alarm systems and a seismic motion detector right on the safe, he said, as well as additional motion sensors throughout the building.

“For that kind of money, you don’t just walk in and walk out with it,” he told AP. “A facility should be protected from the top to the bottom and the sides.”

GardaWorld has a good reputation in the industry, McGuffey said, but every cash management company has “isolated incidents like this that just make no sense — but it happens to the best of them.”

Montreal-based GardaWorld was founded as Trans-Quebec Security in 1995 by Stephan Cretier, now a billionaire.

According to company information, it employs more than 132,000 globally, operating in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, in addition to North America.

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