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Big loss reported in ATM company heist in South El Monte [Updated]

July 8, 2011 |  7:30 am

Heist In a made-for-the-movies heist, robbers sneaked  through the roof of an armored-vehicle security company in South El Monte, tied up its employees and stole as much as $1 million destined for ATMs, officials said Friday.

Major crimes detectives with the L.A. County Sheriff's Department and forensic experts were at the security company Friday morning, trying to determine how many suspects were involved in Thursday's elaborate heist and how they knew to hit the nondescript security company in the 12300 block of Barringer Street.

Sources familiar with the investigation said the company specializes in ATM deliveries.

“There was a significant amount of money taken. They are doing an audit to determine just how much,” said Steve Whitmore, a Sheriff’s Department spokesman. “The suspects entered the building through the roof. There was more than one suspect but major crimes is still working to determine how many.”

Initial reports by deputies who responded at 8:43 p.m. Thursday indicated they were searching for at least two armed men.

“They tied up the unsuspecting employees and fled with the cash,” Whitmore said.

[Updated at 9:01 a.m.: The Barringer address belongs to Commonwealth International, a company that specializes in the armed guard transportation of money to and from automated teller machines. The company is headed by current and former local law enforcement officers in L.A. County.]

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-- Richard Winton

Photo: Scene of heist in South El Monte. Credit: KTLA-TV

Click for crime reports across L.A. County on The Times' interactive database

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