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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

4 Arrested in $1.5M Sberbank Robbery

Itar-TassPolice officials in Chita on Tuesday inspecting money that was recovered after being stolen from a Sberbank branch.
Four suspects have been arrested in connection with Saturday's robbery of 38.69 mln rubles ( $1.5 million) in cash from a Sberbank branch in Chita, one of the country's largest heists in recent history, authorities said Tuesday.

Two of the four suspects, all male, have admitted to the crime, Chita regional prosecutor Vladimir Kondakov told reporters in Chita on Tuesday.

Two guards were shot dead in the heist. If charged and convicted, the suspects could face life in prison.

A fifth suspect remains at large, while one of the security guards colluded with robbers, only to be killed, along with his colleague, by his accomplices, Kondakov said.

Gazeta.ru identified the guards as Viktor Kotovsky, 57, and Vyacheslav Popov, 46, though it was unclear which guard was suspected of collusion. Both were found with their hands and arms bound and black ski masks pulled over their heads.

A female employee of the bank has also been detained, though a police spokesman said Monday that it was unlikely that she was involved, Gazeta.ru reported.

While trumpeting the arrests, Kondakov revealed that only $713,000 of the $1.5 million in stolen cash was recovered.

He said the money was found stashed in a local forest.

The robbers, who broke into the bank Saturday morning, also made off with 9 ounces of gold and 62 ounces of silver bullion.

Sberbank has offered 5 million rubles ($196,000) for information about the robbery.