Brazilian police searching for stolen goods find 2 tanks

Yahoo News – by Stan Lehman

SAO PAULO (AP) — A Brazilian police raid to recover stolen cars and cargo came up with a more interesting find: two war tanks.

Police in Brazil’s biggest city said Tuesday that the engineless tanks were found inside a warehouse in Sacoma, a low-income district in Sao Paulo. Police also confiscated 500 television sets, car body parts and a recently stolen semitrailer truck.  

“It is unusual, to say the least, that police officers searching for stolen goods and cars, instead find two tanks,” Police Lt. Andrei do Carmo told the Globo TV network.

The army said in a statement the two tanks found Monday had been auctioned off “without weapons or engines because they no longer had any use.”

The statement said the tanks had been auctioned by Engesa, the Brazilian armored vehicle manufacturer.

“We are investigating who placed the winning bid,” it said

The statement did not say what sort of tanks they were or how old they might be. Images published by local media show a treaded vehicle with five road wheels on each side.

Phone calls to Engesa went unanswered on Tuesday.

A law enforcement officer said by telephone that the sons of the warehouse’s owner told police the tanks were purchased legally in an auction in 2003 and that they had the documents to prove it. The officer, who did not provide further details, spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.

The warehouse’s caretaker was taken into custody.

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