Bandits Snatch $1.7 Million From Boat in Venice

Brazen Theft on the Canals of Venice

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Brazen Theft on the Canals of Venice

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Tourist finds himself looking down the barrel of a Queen’s Guard’s rifle

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Tourist finds himself looking down the barrel of a Queen’s Guard’s rifle

Three armed bandits stole nearly $1.7 million in cash from a canal boat in Venice, Italy, on Monday in a robbery experts say was like it was pulled from the big screen.

An armored truck had just delivered three cases of money to a courier boat around 7 a.m. Monday when the armed bandits pulled up in their own boat. One man held a rifle to a security guard's head while his accomplice jumped out from under a tarp, opened all three cases and then took the two cases holding bank notes, leaving behind the third case full of coins, according to Italian news agency ANSA.

The money stolen from the courier boat was destined for banks and post offices in Venice to pay the pensions of elderly veterans, according to reports.

Venice police did not release any additional information.

The real-life heist brought to mind the big screen hit, "The Italian Job," a 2003 film starring Charlize Theron and Mark Walhberg about a team of thieves in Venice who hatch a plan to steal gold.

"Robbers do watch movies and they do get ideas about how to do things," said former FBI agent and ABC News' consultant Brad Garrett.

Last week at JFK airport in New York City, thieves brought to mind the 1990 mob drama "Goodfellas" after they stole $1.2 million from a cargo container.

A robbery last November in which thieves on motorcycles tore through a London mall, snatching over $3 million worth of Rolex and Cartier watches, and a heist Monday night at the Borgata Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, N.J., when thieves smashed windows to grab $500,000 worth of jewelry are two heists that could inspire movies of their own.

No suspects have been arrested in either case but, according to experts, people involved in such high-profile heists are often nabbed.

"What happens many times is that the people end up talking or spend the money in such a way that they get caught," said Garrett.

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