Specs O’Keefe

Photo of the Day

A newsman wears a rubber mask similar to that worn by bandits who robbed Brink’s armored car firm in Boston Jan, 1950. The reporter points to nameplate on first of six locked doors opened by the gunmen. The Mask was one of several purchased in joke shops by newsmen and police to see if they resembled description given by Brink’s employees. PHOTO: AP Photo

The Great Brinks Robbery

They?left few clues. It was almost the perfect crime. Almost?

For a long time, the armed heist known as the Brink?s Holdup was the most successful robbery in United States history. It took place in Boston?s North End on 165 Prince Street at the headquarters of Brink?s Incorporated on January 17, 1950. The job was meticulously planned and brilliantly executed, and the thieves made off with over $2 million. The robbers were local heroes; Boston for some reason has a longstanding love affair with bank robberies.

Tony Pino, a lifelong criminal, was the mastermind behind the audacious theft. Together with Joe McGinnis, he assembled a group that meticulously planned the heist. They staked out the depot for a year and a half to figure out when it was holding the most money. Then, the gang stole the plans for the depot?s alarm system and returned them before anyone noticed that they were missing.

The criminal team held repeated rehearsals, with each man wearing blue coats and Halloween masks. On January 17, they finally put their plan into action. Inside the counting room, the gang surprised the guards and tied up the employees. Multiple canvas bags, weighing more than half a ton, were filled with cash, coins, checks, and money orders. Within 30 minutes, the Brinks robbery team was gone?taking $2.7 million with them.

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