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  • September 13th, 1997. At this time of night  downtown Los Angeles is quiet, a far cry from  

  • the bustling city center it is during the dayIt's a typical night shift at the Dunbar Armored  

  • facility. Little do the guards know that they  are soon to become victims in one of the largest  

  • and most audacious robberies in US history. Thirty year old Alan Pace III is the regional  

  • safety inspector for Dunbar Armored, Inc. He  seems diligent in his duties and his co-workers  

  • like him. He's known for playing pranks. What no  one knows is that Allan is a criminal mastermind  

  • who has big plans. Number one on his list is  to rob the downtown LA Dunbar Armored facility,  

  • a depot where armored trucks drop off and pick up  cash amassed from businesses all over the city.  

  • Allan turns to his trusted childhood friends  Eugene Hill, Erik Boyd, Freddie McCrary Jr.,  

  • Terry Brown Sr and Thomas Johnson for help. Allan studies the security measures of the  

  • facility. He learns the schedules of everyone  on the night shift. He even takes pictures of  

  • the interior rooms and hallways of the depotOther employees assume that the picture taking  

  • must be part of Allan's job since he  oversees worker safety for the company.  

  • In fact, part of his job includes making sure  fire extinguishers are up to date and that  

  • hallways aren't blocked. As part of his schemeAllan also checks the security cameras for blind  

  • spots and inspects the rotating cameras to see  how long they stay on a specific field of view

  • For several months Allan and his five  friends meet regularly and plan the robbery.  

  • Due to his extensive research, Allan  is able to provide them with maps,  

  • images and detailed information.They even  go on reconnaissance field trips, driving  

  • past the building and getting very familiar with  the area. They vow that if any one of them gets  

  • caught, they won't snitch on the others. On Thursday Sept 12th Allan is notified  

  • that he's going to be fired from Dunbar  Amored for tampering with company property.  

  • As part of a prank he had removed the  headlight from one of the armored trucks

  • It was now or never. The next day Allan would  have to turn in his keys and lose access to  

  • the facility. Furthermore, the wee hours of  Friday morning are the perfect time to strike.  

  • From experience, Allan knows the vault will be  packed with money waiting to be distributed across  

  • the city in anticipation of weekend shopping. On Thursday night the crew of robbers hangs out  

  • at a party in Long Beach for a couple of hours  to establish alibis. They then slip away and  

  • change into black clothes and masks. They also  don radio headsets for talking to each other  

  • and check their guns before driving about  25 miles (40 km) to downtown Los Angeles.  

  • At this time of night, there's little traffic  and the journey takes less than half an hour

  • It's several minutes after midnight when the  thieves arrive at the downtown Dunbar facility.  

  • They're able to drive their rented U-Haul  truck into the parking lot without issue,  

  • during planning Allan had learned that the  guard watching the camera for the parking lot  

  • had a new truck and kept the camera  trained on his truck so he could view it

  • To get inside, Allan simply unlocks a side  door and the robbers go right on in. Their  

  • first task is to evade detection on the various  security cameras lining the hallways. Due to  

  • Allan's meticulous planning, they hug the walls  and move during timed intervals to make their  

  • way past rotating cameras without being seen. The bandits head for the cafeteria where they  

  • quickly take the hospitality staff hostageAt 12:30 am most of the guards go on lunch  

  • break. As each guard arrives at the cafeteria, the  robbers ambush and take them hostage one by one,  

  • preventing them from sounding the  alarm or alerting other guards.  

  • All the captured guards are laid face down and  their arms and ankles are bound with duct tape

  • The robbers also take the key for the vault  prep room from one of the hostage guards.  

  • This room has cameras that can't be avoidedso the robbers just rush the two armed  

  • guards inside and take them hostage too. Now the robbers need to get into the vault,  

  • which has 18 inch (46 cm) steel doorsHowever, due to the volume of money being  

  • moved through the facility on a Friday nightthe vault has been left open for ease of use

  • The robbers go into the vault and using bolt  cutters snap the ordinary padlocks on the  

  • metal cages storing the bags of cash. Money  in the vault is sorted by delivery routes  

  • and Allan has memorized which routes use large  denomination bills. He has his crew avoid bags  

  • of new cash with sequential serial numbersThey mainly grab sacks filled with stacks of  

  • $20 bills that had been destined for automated  teller machines around the city. The robbers  

  • quickly load the bags of cash onto metal carts  which they wheel to the loading dock. They back  

  • their truck up to the dock and load up. In about  30 minutes, they move $18.9 million in cash

  • Allan has two final tasks before they splitHe steals the security tapes from the recording  

  • system in the security control room and then races  to a locked closet elsewhere in the facility to  

  • steal the secret backup security tapes out of  recording equipment which is in a locked cabinet.  

  • The robbers also smash cameras on the way  out. Without a single gunshot being fired,  

  • Allan Pace and his crew have pulled off  the largest cash heist in American history

  • The robbers go to an apartment that belongs  to one of them and change back into their  

  • party clothes. They return to the house  party in Long Beach and play it cool

  • At this point most thieves would be impatient  and dumb; they'd flash their money around and  

  • go on spending sprees. However, these robbers  are smarter than most. Allan gives each member  

  • of the crew $100,000 to be used for quietdiscreet spending. Per the agreed upon plan,  

  • the rest of the cash will have to wait until the  heat's off. The robbers pack the remaining $18.2  

  • million in garbage bags and move them into  a self storage facility for safe keeping

  • A task force involving local police, FBI and  other federal authorities quickly forms to  

  • investigate the heist. The Dunbar company  and their insurer, Lloyd's of London,  

  • offer a $125,000 reward for information  leading to the robbers' arrest and conviction

  • However, authorities are soon stumpedThere are no fingerprints. There are no  

  • names--when talking during the robbery, the  thieves had called each other by number.  

  • There is no video evidence of the crime either. The one thing investigators are certain of is  

  • that it's an inside job. Someone with intimate  knowledge of the operations of the Dunbar Armored  

  • facility has to be involved--especially  since the robbers knew that the backup  

  • security tapes existed and stole those too. Authorities interview employees of the facility,  

  • hoping that someone knows something. One of  the questions asked during these meetings is  

  • 'which employee do you think could have  committed this crime?' Interestingly,  

  • the name of Allan Pace keeps coming up. The only major clue the authorities have is  

  • a small plastic tail light lens that was found  at Dunbar's loading dock, it doesn't belong to  

  • any company vehicle. The FBI forensics lab in  Washington analyzes it and determines that it's  

  • from a 14-foot (4.27 meter) U-Haul truck. But  this promising lead is a flop. There are many  

  • U-Haul trucks on rent in greater LA at the time of  the robbery. The only name they have is Allan's.  

  • They check to see if he rented a truck during  the time of the robbery, of course he hasn't. 

  • Investigators conduct surveillance on Allan. They  even delve into his financial records. However  

  • they discover nothing. Allan is living quietly  at his mom's home. He hasn't made any flashy  

  • purchases. He stays away from the self storage  center where the money is hidden. As it turns out,  

  • Allan doesn't even have a bank account. The trail goes cold

  • Over 6 months pass. Allan cautiously  begins to parcel out money to his crew.  

  • He plans to invest his share in rental  properties, retire and just live off his  

  • investments. The robbers slowly begin purchasing  cars and property in cash. They use straw buyers  

  • to acquire at least 10 homes during public  auctions of foreclosed properties. They allow  

  • family to live in these homes or rent them out. The robbers realize that they accidentally stole  

  • several bags of new money with sequential serial  numbers which could link them to the crime. Allan  

  • tells them that this money needs to be destroyedSome of the robbers go to one of their homes that  

  • has a fireplace and try to get rid of it by  burning it. But, US money is manufactured to be  

  • somewhat anti flammable and the stacks of money  burn slowly. The task quickly became tedious

  • The robbers decide to go to Las Vegas  instead and play the slot machines to  

  • get rid of the new money. Unfortunatelycrisp, new money jams in the slot machines.  

  • So the robbers end up putting the money  through a washing machine to make them usable

  • More time passes. Allan sets up a company 'Extreme  Entertainment' which rents party supplies,  

  • but it's mainly a front to launder the stolen  money. He puts his accomplices on the payroll  

  • and pays himself and them very high salaries. About two years after the robbery, one of the  

  • robbers, Eugene Hill, makes a fatal mistakeHe hires a real estate broker to purchase a  

  • property and gives the man a stack of cash that  is still wrapped in the original cash straps.  

  • The broker is suspicious and alerts policeAuthorities investigate and realize that based  

  • on the dates and handwriting on the strapsthe cash is part of the stash stolen from  

  • the Dunbar facility. The authorities dig into  Eugene's financial records and also subpoena  

  • thousands of U-haul records. They learned that  Eugene rented a 14 foot U-haul a day before the  

  • robbery and had returned it a day later. When police arrest Eugene, they find in  

  • his possession more cash in the original money  wrappers. Eugene quickly confesses, and rolls on  

  • his accomplices in return for a lesser sentence. Allan and the five other robbers are arrested  

  • and put on trial in the spring of 2001. To the  end, Allan denied taking part in the robbery,  

  • he claimed that he was being  set up by his former friends as  

  • revenge for cheating with a friend's wife. Four of the robbers in Allans's crew plead  

  • guilty and are sentenced to federal prison  for terms ranging from 7 1/2 to 10 years.  

  • The fifth robber receives 17 ½ years. Allanthe criminal mastermind is sentenced to 24  

  • years. Also, the robbers are ordered  to pay $18.9 million in restitution

  • Authorities have accounted for about $7  million taken in the heist. Most of that  

  • was spent on homes, cars, and other items. It's  estimated that several hundred thousand dollars  

  • were burned or gambled away in Las Vegas. Many authorities say that there is as much  

  • as $10m is still hidden somewhere. As  of fall 2020, this money has not been  

  • found. Allan Pace will soon complete his prison  sentence. Once he gets out, could he secretly  

  • retrieve the missing stolen cash, change his  identity and retire on a beach somewhere

  • Now go watch this on the  most insane jewel heist ever:

  • Or this. A secret cyber hacker group  has stolen millions of dollars.  

  • Why haven't authorities arrested them?

September 13th, 1997. At this time of night  downtown Los Angeles is quiet, a far cry from  

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Largest US Cash Heist Ever - How They Pulled Off Insane Armored Truck Robbery

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    Summer posted on 2020/10/24
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