$1.8 million burglary of Long Island armored car company foiled by alert officer

HICKSVILLE, N.Y. (WABC) -- A group of sophisticated burglars penetrated a vault at an armored car company on Long Island and nearly made off with $1.8 million, but their escape was foiled by an alert policeman on patrol near the remote office park, officials said Thursday.

One person was arrested and as many as four others are being sought in connection with the heist at the Loomis Armored Inc. location in Hicksville-based, which took place just after 10 p.m. on August 16.

Edgar Medina, 53, of Brentwood, was charged with burglary, larceny and possession of burglary tools.

"This was an extremely sophisticated burglary," Nassau County's acting police commissioner Thomas Krumpter said at a news conference. "This is a hardened property that is designed to secure large amounts of currency."

Medina and the other suspects were caught on video before they allegedly broke through a concrete wall and into the company's vault, police said. As the assailants were offloading the cash into a waiting car, the police officer pulled up, authorities said.

Chief of Detectives Kevin Smith said Medina spotted the officer coming and then appeared "to throw something in the trunk and slam the trunk." Medina sped off, leading the officer on a brief pursuit before he was stopped a few blocks away, police said. When the officer looked in his trunk, he saw large plastic bags filled with cash.

Additional officers found a substantial hole in the wall and video surveillance shows the suspects, all wearing masks, tampering with wiring that control's the building's alarm, Smith said. A sledgehammer and hydrologic jack were left at the scene.

"Basically, it appears that they're casing the place," Smith said of the video. "They're looking into vehicles, they seem to be looking at, choosing perhaps, their access point into the building. They appear to be tampering with the wires of the security system."

Danny Peck, a senior vice president for risk management at the armored car company, said he was pleased with the police officer's actions, but declined to comment on the burglary. Workers from a vault repair company were at the warehouse Thursday afternoon.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)
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