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Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Hands up! Don't move!

This Day in History: January 17, 1950

Two recovered Brinks money bags–
over a million remains missing.
It is widely proclaimed that 'crime doesn't pay'! The premise behind this saying can also be translated into 'do the crime, do the time'. Today in history is a prime example of a different perspective for the crime not paying. A robbery occurring on this day 1950 did not end with any kind of payout to the 11 men involved. A small part of the $2.7+ million stolen - $1.2+ in currency and another $1.5+ in checks, money orders and securities - was recovered. Somewhere in the hills north of Grand Rapids, Minnesota lies a whole lot of loot.

On January 17, 1950: Boston thieves pull off historic robbery...

Hands up! Don't move! Lie down on the floor! Don't say a word! All right, everybody be cool, this is a robbery!

How familiar these words have become since they are proclaimed over and over again within famous Westerns and other crime-related movies! For ages upon ages, the criminals have been the forefront, the stars, the center of attention. It's the action, the drama, the movie lines and the fact afterward the bad guys get up - even after being shot - go home to a beautiful home and a juicy steak without fear of being chased or arrested!

That is NOT what happened on or as a result of this day when the biggest robbery to date took place at the Brinks Armored Car depot in Boston, Massachusetts. And, to think the robbers almost got away with it scot-free! No one was caught until 1956 just a few days before the statute of limitations would have run out for most of the crimes which had charges pending against them. The robbery was dubbed the crime of the century!

How did they do it?

It was masterminded by Anthony "Fats" Pino, timed to perfection during at least a year of meticulous planning and took place at night. The robbers bore resemblance to Brinks employees wearing the navy blue coats and chauffeur caps similar to the Brinks uniforms. Of course, they did appear somewhat strange since they were donning Halloween masks in the month of January. Five employees were on duty when the masked men walked into the Brinks building on Prince St. in Boston. Just like the movies they were told to lie face down on the floor as nasty handguns were pointed in their direction. Being told not to say a word was not enough for these gangsters as they proceeded to tape the employees' mouths shut, then, tied their hands behind their backs. No sirens were heard. No policemen came crashing through the door. Seemed like the perfect robbery as they walked away with over $2 million in cash, checks, money orders and securities.

The rest of the story...

Since barely any clues were discovered at the scene and no one was hurt during the time of the robbery, it appeared the men created the perfect getaway. The plan was for the robbers to lay low for six years until the statute of limitations ran out. They almost made it. Five days. That was all which remained. Five days. For the rest of the story, go HERE.

In June of 1956, the fates smiled down on the prosecutor when a $10 bill that was traced back to the robbery ended up in the hands of an arcade owner who contacted police when he thought he’d been passed a counterfeit bill. The money led back to an office building back in Boston, which had about $52,000 of Brinks bucks hidden in its walls.
Source: Crime Museum

Of course, the Brinks robbery is not the only one to go down in history. There are some pretty strange recollections of heists that have offered fascination for decades from the ferocious Jesse James gang to actual villains of the 21st century.

 The 10 Greatest Heists in History

Related Articles:

The Brinks Job

This Day in History: January Seventeenth

Boston thieves pull off historic robbery

Great Brink's Robbery

JANUARY 17 = The Great "Brinks" Robbery