Thompson SMG used in recent bank robbery in Brazil

    An armed gang got together last July 10 to rob a bank in the city of Santa Margarida, Minas Gerais State, Brazil, which they did. As it frequently happens these days, when almost everyone is carrying a cell phone with a built-in video and photo camera, different scenes of the criminal action quickly emerged in the social media and TV networks.

    In this footage scene, taken from a building window, two hostages (white shirts) and three armed bank robbers are seen on the pickup truck’s cargo bed, the distinguishable weapon here being a 12-ga shotgun. This was shortly after they left the bank.

    One of the cell phone videos aired nationwide very shortly afterwards showed the offenders speeding away from the crime scene using a stolen pickup truck and also carrying on the cargo bed two hostages as a manner to avoid police fire. A sharp-eyed viewer (guess who?) spotted one of the fugitives holding what appeared to be a .45 ACP Thompson submachine gun. The viewer, then, managed to download said video footage and was able to produce some captured images, used here, for closer examination of the gun, information that was immediately circulated via WhatsApp to all interested parties.

    As they move on to the next corner to turn left, a Military Police officer armed with a 5.56x45mm IMBEL MD97 rifle starts taking a possible firing position.

    When they turn left on the next street corner, one of the criminals sees the police officer at the opposite corner and apparently fires the Thompson SMG single-handed at him.

    Maybe unable to fire his gun in order to avoid collateral damage to the hostages on the moving truck, the officer is hit on the head by a bullet that raised debris (arrow) from the corner building, KIA on the spot. A security guard had been previously killed by the outlaws in the bank office.

    When three of the eight bad guys were captured by PMMG – Polícia Militar de Minas Gerais (Minas Gerais State Military Police) agents a few hours later, the weapon’s ID was confirmed: an M1/M1A1 Thompson!  Other weapons seized with them were a retractable-stock 9x19mm H&K MP5 submachine gun and three 12-ga pump-action shotguns, in addition to a reasonable supply of ammunition and some ballistic vests.

    The seized guns and ammo used in the Santa Margarida bank robbery. Although the perpetrators were quickly arrested by the Mina Gerais State Military Police, two valuable lives were regrettably lost to their criminal actions.

    Ronaldo Olive

    Ronaldo is a long-time (starting in the 1960s) Brazilian writer on aviation, military, LE, and gun subjects, with articles published in local and international (UK, Switzerland, and U.S.) periodicals. His vast experience has made him a frequent guest lecturer and instructor in Brazil’s armed and police forces.