A gang of criminals in Santiago assaulted the armored car of a company that transports cash and valuables, then fled with a booty of some 500 million pesos ($980,000), police officials said.

The robbery took place at dawn in the affluent Las Condes neighborhood of the Chilean capital while the vehicle was parked in front of a supermarket.

As the commander of the Carabineros militarized police force, Luis Soto, said, two of the three guards from the armored car were inside the supermarket checking on a defective ATM.

Just then a gang of between five and six individuals got into the vehicle, threatened to shoot the driver and made off with a dozen bags of money.

After the assault the thieves ran away on foot in different directions.

The police deployed a widespread operation to catch them, though without results up to now. EFE