In 1950, a group of thieves staged a heist on the Brink’s armoured car company in Boston.
The robbery was meticulously planned and executed and the thieves made off with more than $2 million in cash and valuables. The crime captured the public’s imagination, and has been immortalised in pop culture.
Here are ten facts about the Brink’s robbery:
1. The mastermind behind the robbery was a man named Anthony Pino. He had previously worked as an armed guard for Brink’s, so he knew their procedures well.
2. Pino recruited a team of ex-cons to help him carry out the robbery. This included Joseph “Specs” O’Keefe, who would later be played by Peter Falk in the movie version of the story. The other members of the gang were Joseph Lupo, Vincent Costa, and Henry Baker.
3. On the night of January 17th, 1950, the robbers broke into the Brink’s building and used acetylene torches to open up the safes. They made off with more than $1 million in cash, plus jewellery and other valuables worth another $1 million.
4. The robbers were careful to leave no evidence behind, but they did make one mistake – they forgot to disable the alarm system before leaving! This led police straight to their hideout within hours of the crime being discovered.
5. All eight members of the robbery team were quickly apprehended and sentenced to long prison terms (though most only served around 10 years). As for Pino, he was killed by another inmate while serving his sentence at Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary.
6. The stolen money was never recovered and is believed to have been lost or spent by the gang.
7. The Brink’s robbery has been depicted in several movies and TV shows, including the 1976 film “The Scores Are Even” and the Emmy-winning TV series “The Sopranos.”
8. On the day of the robbery, the gang dressed as police officers and used a fake bomb to force their way into the building.
9. The robbery finally went ahead after six aborted attempts.
10. Brink’s Incorporated offered a $100,000 reward for information about the robbery.