Since 2006, in France, an unknown gang of thieves known as the “gang à l’aspirateur,” or “vacuum gang,” have been emptying supermarket safes - specifically, Monoprix supermarkets, (comparable to Target stores in the USA), using nothing more than a drill and a modified vacuum cleaner. The innovative group of bandits found a weakness in French supermarket Monoprix’s system of storing cash, and have been exploiting it ever since. Envelopes of cash are funneled into the safe via pneumatic suction tubes.
Whereas breaching the safe itself might be considerably difficult, requiring explosives or safecracking, the thieves realized that if they just drilled into the delivery tubes near the safe and hooked up a powerful vacuum, they could suck the money out and get at it much more easily.
This mode of robbery is very unique as most thieves would resort to safecracking methods, which leave more evidence. Techniques such as using explosives, or tools like a thermal lance or plasma cutter, are the common choice of career burglars.
As of 2011, the vacuum gang have successfully stolen almost $800,000, in fifteen night-time heists, leaving only a few CCTV tapes of masked men for evidence.