You’d need all these on your side trying to rob a bank, and then some more. These top 5 US bank robberies were known for their violent nature, brazen timing and extreme criminality.
5). The 1980 Security Pacific Bank Robbery
May 9, 1980 – Norco, California.
Five heavily armed bank robbers storm a Security Pacific Bank. Armed with machine guns, shotguns, an improvised explosive device and Kevlar armor, four robbers demand $20,000 in cash. While the fifth robber kept watch outside, little did they know that a bystander from across the road saw them enter the bank. Sheriff’s Deputy Glyn Bolasky arrives first on the scene and spots the robbers loading into a getaway van. The robbers open fire. Bolasky throws his car into reverse and smashes into another car parked on the street. Seeking cover, Bolasky fires his shotgun, striking the driver of the getaway van in the head, killing him instantly. The remaining robbers unload from the van and an intense 200+ round firefight begins. Bolasky gets hit five times and manages to escape for treatment. By this time, more police join in on the firefight. So much gunfire was coming from the robbers that over 30 police cars and one helicopter were severely damaged. By the end eight officers were wounded and one killed. Four gunmen were eventually arrested and one died at the scene.
4). The 1981 Brink’s Robbery
The Brink’s armored car robbery at Naumet Mall, New York was carried out by six members of the Black Liberation Army. As the guards began to load the bags into the truck from the mall’s daily takings, the robbers attacked, offloading two shotgun rounds into the trucks bullet-proof windscreen. One guard was killed instantly from repeated rounds from an M16 whilst the other guard was able to get a few shots off but failed to hit any of the attackers. The remaining guard was struck with several rounds which almost severed his arm off his shoulder. $1.6 million was stolen until a second gunfight took another two police officers lives. The robbers were eventually captured, trialled and arrested.
3). The White Eagle 1983 Robbery
This was the largest cash heist in US history at the time. The robbers, part of a guerrilla group called Los Macheteros, netted $7.2 million. Robbers made off with the cash from the Wells Fargo depot on September 12, 1983. According to FBI reports, the money was sent to Cuba, Puerto Rico and Boston. Hidden in farmhouse cellars, safe deposit boxes and only around $80,000 has been recovered.
2). The Loomis Fargo Bank Robbery
$17.3 million cash stolen, Charlotte, North Carolina, 1997. The regional cash vault of the Loomis Fargo Bank was robbed by armored car driver David Ghantt. This was the largest robbery ever in US history at the time. Ghantt was training a new employee at the time and sent them home at 6pm, 3 hours earlier of their shift ending. Once alone, Ghantt proceeded to load $17.3 million in cash into private vehicles that he organised with his accomplices to drive over the mexican border with over time. Ghantt was arrested in 1998 after phone tapping and suspicions from the FBI. Ghantt received seven and a half years in prison and his accomplices were all captured. 95% of the money has been recovered.
1). Dunbar Armored Robbery 1997
This is the largest cash robbery in US history to date. A staggering $18.9 million was stolen from the Dunbar Armored Facility in Los Angeles, California. Allen Pace and five of his childhood friends used keys to gain entrance to the facility on the night of September 12. Pace had known the security camera pattern and knew how they could be avoided. When they were inside, they picked off and attacked the guards one by one and loaded the largest denomination bags from the vault into trucks. They made off with the largest haul in US history. Eventually, one of the robbers forgot to take off one of the traceable cash straps used from the facility that then led to the arrest of Eugene Lamar Hill.After confessions from Hill, Allen Pace was caught and sentenced to 24 years in maximum security prison.
As of 2011, $10 million is still unaccounted for.