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BRINKS GUARDS KILL 2 ATTEMPTED ROBBERS AT BEVERLY HILLS BANK.

Byline: Associated Press

Armored car guards ambushed by two robbers outside a bank unleashed a hail of gunfire and killed the bandits Friday.

More than 20 rounds were fired when Brinks guards pushing a cart stacked with cash were confronted by two well-dressed gunmen shortly after 10 a.m. at Charter Pacific Bank on busy Wilshire Boulevard, said Lt. Frank Salcido.

The robbers, who were not immediately identified, were pronounced dead at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, he said.

The guards were unharmed and it was unclear whether the bandits ever fired a shot, he added.

``We heard the shots and the bank personnel knew that it was gunshots and they asked us all to hit the ground and we did,'' said Stephanie Scott, a customer at a Bank of America, one of several businesses in the office complex. ``We stayed there through a few series of shots until it looked as though everything was calm.''

The two guards had picked up a cash shipment from the third-floor Charter Pacific Bank and were heading for their armored car when they encountered two robbers, ``well-dressed in business attire, shirt and tie,'' who carried semiautomatic pistols, Salcido said.

``They were definitely waiting for them outside the door,'' the lieutenant said.

The guards were pushing a cart laden with a money bag and boxes of coins. The gunmen demanded the cash. Instead, the guards opened fire, hitting both men as they stood perhaps 15 feet away on the walkway in front of the bank entrance.

It was unclear whether the guards already had their guns out as they left the bank, but that is a common practice when guards are escorting money, Salcido said.

It also was unclear whether the gunmen had a waiting accomplice, Salcido said, but no arrests were immediately made.

A car that could be the getaway vehicle was later impounded nearby.

Hours after the holdup attempt, two large patches of blood still stained the walkway. A white Brinks truck, its passenger door open, remained parked at a curb, within yellow police tape.

At least four armored car guards died in violent robberies in Southern California last year.

A guard was shot to death in November 1996 while picking up money from a Wal-Mart store in San Bernardino. A month earlier, a guard carrying cash out of a grocery store in Stanton was ambushed and killed.

A holdup in August of that year killed a guard and wounded another as they picked up night receipts at a bank automatic teller machine in Venice, and another guard was killed in February 1996 as he picked up cash from a school cafeteria in Carson.
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Copyright 1997, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Nov 15, 1997
Words:440
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