Police: French bank heist suspect turns himself in

AP News
|
Posted: Nov 16, 2009 3:07 PM

A French armored car driver suspected of stealing euro11.6 million ($17.4 million) in cash has turned himself in to authorities in Monaco following a massive manhunt, police in France and Monaco said.

Suspect Toni Musulin appeared at a police station in the Mediterranean principality of Monaco on Monday after 11 days on the run, police said.

He was riding a motorcycle rented in his name, had grown a beard and appeared exhausted, a Monaco police official said, adding that Musulin's fingerprints matched with those on file with Interpol.

Police in both France and Monaco spoke on condition of anonymity because of office policy.

Musulin, 40, quickly became an antihero in France, a symbol of one man taking on the banking establishment in times of economic crisis. T-shirts for sale on the Internet bore his photo with the caption: "Best Driver 2009."

The driver had picked up the money Nov. 5 at the Banque de France branch in Lyon with two other security workers. They then stopped at another bank _ and while the two other security workers were inside, Musulin is suspected of fleeing with the cash.

The vehicle was recovered several hours later, but the driver was nowhere to be found. Days later investigators said they found euro9.1 million of the loot hidden in a van in a garage. A Monaco police official said Musulin did not speak about the cash still missing.

The suspect had worked for Loomis France, the No. 1 French company specialized in transporting money and valuables, for 10 years, according to a company statement. Musulin never had any trouble at Loomis before the theft, the company said.

As no violence was involved in the theft, Musulin risks only three years in prison if charged. Police said he was to be transferred to police in Lyon.