Thursday, Mar. 11, 2010

Brinks Inc. Headquarters, 1950

At the time, it was the largest cash haul in U.S. history — more than $2 million stolen from the Boston headquarters of Brinks Inc., the world's foremost security company. Talk about embarrassing. Pulled off by 11 Boston natives on Jan. 17, 1950, the crime shocked even J. Edgar Hoover, then head of the FBI, who assured reporters that the heist could have been pulled off only by the mob or communists, maybe both. Police finally cracked the case six years later, mostly thanks to a broken code of honor among the bandits. When one of them landed in jail on weapons and parole violations, he decided to sing. And sing he did, dishing out the details of the gang's 18 months of meticulous planning, specially made keys and costumes (including a Halloween mask). A grand jury indicted the men just four days before the Massachusetts statute of limitations expired. All the men were convicted, though nearly half of the loot remains at large.