Brink's Building Robbery: The Heist That Tore A Gang Apart

By | January 15, 2020

A late-night robbery shook Boston 

The Brink's building heist of 1950 is one of the most daring robberies of the 20th century. Like something from a movie, the robbery itself went off without a hitch, but the aftermath brought the crack crew down. These guys were serious pros; no one was hurt, and everything was gravy until one of the group's members folded under pressure while he was in jail years later. Like a Scorsese movie but shorter, this is the story of a crew that could have made almost $3 million in 1950 money if they'd just kept their cool. Instead, greed brought them down, and no one made off with any of that sweet, sweet Brink's cash.

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Source: WGBH

Around 7:30 P.M. on January 17, 1950, a gang of armed men wearing creepy masks, pea coats, and chauffeur's hats charged into the Brink's Building in Boston, Massachusetts. These cats were prepared: No one heard them stomping down the hall because their footsteps were muffled with crepe-soled shoes. Once inside, the robbers forced the five employees on duty to the floor, took a pair of their glasses, and emptied the vault of $1,218,211.29 in cash and $1,557,183.83 in checks, money orders, and other securities. Once the gang exited the building, they were like ghosts. 

The FBI needed a hand

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Source: New England Historical Society

When the FBI arrived on the scene, it became apparent that the gang had planned every detail of the crime down to the last second. Outside of a scant few traces of physical evidence—some rope, some adhesive tape, and a chauffeur's cap—there was nothing to lead investigators directly to the thieves. The most interesting evidence that the feds found was something that wasn't there: four revolvers that had been taken from employees working in the building. The agents hoped that the gang would try to sell these guns, which they could track from the serial numbers. Aside from that, all the FBI could do was interview everyone who worked at the bank to make sure that they weren't a part of the heist.