Bank robbers tied hostages to cars and used them as human shields during heists in Brazil
After ransacking two banks in Brazil, a group of robbers escaped with hostages strapped onto their getaway cars Monday morning.
Photos and videos on social media show people tied to the hoods of cars, and police confirmed the hostages were used "as human shields," according to Rádio CBN.
The robbers created chaos in Araçatuba, a city in the southeastern state of Sao Paulo. Aside from robbing banks, the group detonated explosives across the city and set fire to dozens of cars.Two residents and one of the alleged assailants died, Reuters reported. Another bystander who was injured in one of the explosions had his leg amputated.
As the armed robbers entered the city and banks, they used drones to monitor the streets and police.
"The feeling was one of helplessness,” Mayor Dilador Borges told Rádio CBN. "It was a night of terror.”
Na fuga, os reféns foram amarrados nos veículos. Tentativa de impedir qualquer contra-ataque da polícia ao grupo. Deus guarde essas pessoas e todos de Araçatuba. Todas as agências bancárias do centro foram invadidas - informações preliminares. pic.twitter.com/lu0hBlcTCu
— Yuri Macri (@yurimacri) August 30, 2021
As of Monday, two attackers had been arrested. More than 20 men carried out the attack and used 10 cars, police confirmed. Araçatuba residents expressed their concerns over the mayhem, many posting videos of the chaotic streets and others pledging to hide indoors until the attackers were found.
Classes in the city were canceled, and officials warned residents to remain indoors until all the explosives were found.
“I’m in tears and desperate,” one Araçatuba resident wrote on Twitter. “Help, Lord, protect the people here. My God, it looks like a movie scene what is happening here.”
Cars were burned during a bank robbery in Aracatuba, Brazil, on Aug. 30. A heavily armed group of bank robbers wreaked havoc across the southeastern Brazilian city, striking three banks, setting fire to vehicles and tying hostages to their getaway cars in an assault that left at least three people dead, officials say.