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Armed gunmen kidnap Brinks guard, flee with millions

ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Rochester police Wednesday announced a $300,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the men who held up a Brinks armored car depot, kidnapped an employee and made off with nearly $7 million.

Police and FBI officials said the exact amount stolen in Tuesday night's holdup would not be known until an audit had been performed, but estimated the haul at nearly $7 million.

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FBI Special Agent Van Harp said police had no 'named' suspects, but said one man who 'could possibly be one' was white, muscular, stood 6- foot-1 and wore a short-sleeved Brinks T-shirt.

Harp said the robbers surprised the people on duty at the Brinks depot but would not say how they gained entrance to the building.

He said the stolen cash weighed about 1,000 pounds.

Harp would not say whether the reward had been posted Brinks or Lloyd's of London, the company's insurer.

The bandits, armed with handguns, burst into the one-story brick facility about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday where 10 employees were on duty. Holding the workers at gunpoint, they stuffed the money in a van with large sliding glass doors, police said.

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Lt. Pat Cona, a police spokeswoman, said the robbers adbucted Brinks guard Thomas O'Connor, 53, and released him hours later on West Ridge Road in the Rochester suburb of Greece.

'He wasn't harmed by the abductors, but he was taken to the hospital complaining of chest pains,' Cona said.

O'Connor was held briefly for observation and released.

The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reported that company employees were made to lie on the floor with bags over their heads and at least one was tied up.

Police suggested Tuesday night the robbery may have been an inside job. They said Brinks employees would be given lie detector tests.

Rochester has been the scene of two previous unsolved armored car company robberies in the last 20 years.

Robbers took $10.8 million from an Armored Motor Services Co. of America truck in June of 1990. And in 1972, $1 million was stolen during a brazen daylight robbery from the Doyle Armored Car Service.

Tuesday's heist also comes on the heels of a New York City theft. Robbers took $8.27 million from a Hudson Armored Car depot in Brooklyn last week.

That robbery prompted a state legislator to demand state regulation of the armored car industry.

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