Iran state media say 13 arrested over Tehran bank heist

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iranian authorities said Friday they have arrested 13 burglars who cut into the vault of a Tehran state bank from a neighboring building and stole 168 safe deposit boxes.

Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency quoted Tehran Prosecutor Ali Salehi as saying that three of the suspects were arrested in an undisclosed country abroad, while the rest were apprehended in the Iranian capital and the north of the country. A car containing stolen property was found abandoned at Imam Khomeini Airport, the prosecutor added.

The TV report showed footage of jewelry, gold coins and bundles of dollar bills laid out on a long table.

The gang also allegedly stole surveillance cameras and other monitoring items from the bank, which is located on a major thoroughfare near Tehran University, and within walking distance of a police station.

Bank robberies are rare in theocratic Iran. If convicted, the suspects face lengthy prison sentences.

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