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Armed bandits steal $1.7 million in cash from boat in Venice lagoon

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July 17, 2012: Water traffic bustling on the Grande Canale in the heart of Venice, Italy. (AP)

Three armed bandits pulled up alongside a courier boat in a Venice lagoon and robbed it of nearly $1.7 million in cash, according to Italian news reports.

Italian news agency ANSA said the heist occurred Monday just after an armored truck delivered three cases of money to the courier boat destined for banks and post offices in Venice.

ANSA said the bandits took two cases containing banknotes, but left behind the third one, which was filled with coins.

Venice police said no one was immediately available to give more information. The Venice-based armored courier company Civis declined to give details about the heist on one of its boats.

The report said the courier boat had just left the dock when the bandits' boat pulled up next to it.

The incident brought to mind the 2003 film, "The Italian Job," about a team of thieves who plan to steal a stash of gold in Venice.

Last week's reported theft of $1.2 million from shipment of cash flown from Switzerland to New York City's John F. Kennedy International Airport was reminiscent of the film "Goodfellas."

The 1990 Martin Scorsese film depicted the theft of $5.8 million in cash from a Lufthansa Airlines vault at JFK airport, which was reportedly the site of an iPad Mini heist last year.

In the November 2012 incident, a pair of thieves reportedly made off with $1.5 million worth of the Apple devices. An airport worker was later arrested in connection with the crime.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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