MEXICO CITY – Mexican authorities said Thursday a brazen gang of thieves tailed an armored truck, burst into an airport in central Mexico and made off with a shipment of cash that was about to be loaded on a plane.
The robbery took only three minutes and the amount taken is still being calculated, but the crime appeared to resemble the infamous Lufthansa heist at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport that netted $5.87 million in 1978.
Officials at Guanajuato's international airport said that the armored truck entered the airport Wednesday evening on what was apparently a pre-arranged cash transport run.
The gang of masked thieves broke through the terminal fencing in their own truck, and drove to the baggage handling area, though they didn't enter the landing strip, the airport administrators said in a statement.
The Guanajuato state government said the men threatened baggage handlers with guns and made off with an undetermined amount of cash, escaping by a different route. Local media reported the haul might have been around $1 million.
The airport is located between the cities of Silao and Leon.
A once-quiet agricultural and industrial state, Guanajuato has suffered an increasing wave of violent crime, in part because of organized gangs that steal fuel from government pipelines.