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Authorities end probe into largest heist in Vermont history

(Reuters) - Authorities have closed the books on the largest robbery in Vermont history without ever making an arrest, saying on Friday there was little evidence to pursue and the statute of limitations has expired.

Eleven years ago this week, a gunman wearing a ski mask walked into the office of Berkshire Armored Car Co in Rutland, Vermont, handcuffed two employees and drove off in a dark-colored van with $1.9 million in cash.

The thief, who was described as having a New York accent, made a clean getaway. No arrests were ever made.

The FBI said on Friday it has closed the case, given that the legal time period for bringing criminal charges has ended and other investigations need to take priority.

"There had not been much development of leads in the case as of recently, and we have to make decisions about how to best use our resources," said Paul Holstein, chief division counsel for the FBI field office in Albany, New York, which investigated the case.

"Since 9/11, our priorities have been focused on national security and counterterrorism," he added.

There were no security cameras at Berkshire Armored Car, which is no longer in business, officials noted.

"There was no real evidence, strong evidence left behind," says Michael Notte, a former Rutland police detective who investigated the case.

Notte, now a Vermont State Police trooper, said he conducted scores of interviews in Vermont, New York and Connecticut during the investigation.

"There was a garage bay that was commonly left open," he said. "You could have just sat across the street and watched their daily routine. It seemed to us it was very casual."

(Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst; Editing by Steve Orlosky)

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