Authorities say six heavily armed men dressed as police officers entered a Rio de Janeiro precinct and freed 28 suspects in broad daylight.
The official Agencia Brasil news service said the gunmen talked their way into the station by saying they were delivering another suspect. They then overpowered the two officers guarding nearly 150 suspects at the station on Rio's north side.
The men were armed with shotguns and carried false documents. They used pliers to open five cells and let the prisoners go.
Agencia Brasil quoted police official Orlando Zaccone as saying authorities would investigate whether the group was trying to free a specific person Sunday.
Three escapees were recaptured shortly afterward.