A group of armed men overpowered the lone security guard at a judicial system arms depot in Colombo, a city in southern Brazil, over the weekend and stole 291 firearms that were going to be introduced as evidence at different trials, police said.

The firearms, mostly revolvers and pistols, had been seized by police in various operations and were being held at the depot so they could be used as evidence in different cases.

The robbery occurred around 12:30 a.m. Sunday in Colombo, a city in the Curitiba metropolitan area.

The robbers, who also stole an unspecified quantity of ammunition, were apparently looking for large-caliber weapons, such as machine guns and rifles, that the police had recently moved to an army depot.

"Even though they are not as powerful, the stolen weapons could end up in the hands of different bandits," police precinct chief Erineu Portes, who is handling the investigation, said.

Only one guard was on duty at the depot, which does not have any security cameras.

"The guard was threatened so he would hand over the keys to the different rooms where the arms were kept," Portes said.

The security guard, who was tied up and gagged, was unable to identify the approximately four assailants, who wore ski masks. EFE