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Copper Cops Play Game of Cat and Mouse Around Desert Convoys

  • Train robberies in Chile’s north have soared in recent years
  • Police have created a new special unit to catch the criminals
FCAB trains transport copper concentrate and cathodes across the Atacama desert in Chile.
FCAB trains transport copper concentrate and cathodes across the Atacama desert in Chile.Photographer: FCAB
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Just weeks after the police unit was formed, they caught their first glimpse of the copper thieves -- the silhouettes of a group of men on a hill overlooking the rail lines -- triggering a car chase at the dead of night across Chile’s Atacama desert.

While the pursuit ended in failure, with the gang disappearing into the dark at full speed, at least the police had stopped a potential train heist.