A DJI Mini drone helped thieves to steal 150,000 euros ($147,000) from an ATM in the French city of Reims without using explosives.
The criminals managed to do this by flying a DJI Mini drone into a technical room via a ventilation duct and pressing a button with the drone that can be used to open the door from the inside. According to the Police, this is the first time a drone has been used in a bank robbery.
High-tech money robbery with DJI Mini drone
The high-tech money robbery took place at the beginning of this year at a branch of the Caisse d’Epargne in Reims.
Bank employees were surprised to discover that the contents of the safe with banknotes had been emptied, with no visible damage to the ATM or the safe door. A total of 150,000 euros appeared to have disappeared.
When viewing the images from a surveillance camera, it appeared that burglars had used a small-sized drone (of the DJI Mavic Mini type) to press a button that opened the door of a technical room next to the ATM. To that end, they forced open a ventilation grille, which allowed the drone to fly inside.
To determine exactly where the button was, the burglars first used a mirror on a telescopic stick. The robbery lasted less than 10 minutes.
The police have now arrested four suspects. Further investigation revealed that one of the thieves had previously worked as a mechanic for a company that maintains ATMs. He knew the code from the safe in the technical room. Because that code was not changed often, it was possible to remove the contents from the safe without damage.
The money robbery is the talk of the day in high-ranking police circles.
“We have already seen many criminal applications of drones, from drug smuggling to spying on people. But using a mini drone to carry out a bank robbery is new to us.”
Source: Le Journal du Dimanche
This article first appeared on Dronewatch and was written by Wiebe de Jager, a DroneXL contributor.
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