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A dapper thief in a gray suit held up a pair of armored truck workers in The Bronx Tuesday morning, then traded gunfire with them as he made his getaway, the NYPD said.
The suspect approached a Rapid Armor Corp. vehicle outside check-cashing business “EG Money Service,” at 1471 Westchester Ave. and demanded money at gunpoint about 9:30 a.m., according to police.
One of the guards then whipped out his pistol and they exchange shots, police said.
“I saw the security guard shoot up Westchester,” said witness Mac Vasquez, 62. “He must have gotten six shots, and then I saw him turn around and shoot down Westchester.”
“I saw those shots and hid behind the store,” he added. Enrique Zuniga, whose red Nissan was parked near the chaos, was nearly hit in the crossfire.
“If it were a couple of feet up, he would’ve been shot,” said his wife, Lillian DeSann, translating for Zuniga. “He heard bullets from all sides.”The suspect fled with an unknown amount of cash. No one was wounded in the chaos, police said.
The suspect took off toward Colgate Avenue and hopped into a red Honda, the NYPD said. Vasquez said he’s witnessed many shootouts in Soundview, but this was among the most chaotic. “I’ve been in the neighborhood 35 years,” he said. “This is one of the worst I’ve seen.”
Sources say another armored truck robbery took place less than two weeks ago and just three blocks away from where Tuesday’s incident happened.
During that heist, a man snuck up on a Loomis Armored Car Corporation guard in similar fashion — putting him in a chokehold and pressing a gun to his side — as he returned to the vehicle with several bags of money.
While the gunman took away the guard’s service weapon, two more men approached and swiped the bags, which contained $285.50, according to sources.
The armored car guards are presently represented by a armored car guard union, noted Law Enforcement Officers Security Unions (LEOSU) stated Organizing Director Steve Maritas. The armored car industry is one of most dangerous security jobs throughout the security industry and one of the least paid. Armored car guards transport loads of money and bags of valuables between locations. This job can be repetitive and routine, and become very dangerous and violent in the blink of an eye. Armored car guards must always be alert and prepared, as robberies and thefts are around each corner, as we just seen with the armored car robbery of Rapid Armored here in the Bronx noted Maritas.