Was an $11 million dollar armored car heist an inside job?

An armored are stopped in the parking lot of a gas station

An armored car was robbed

A thief holding a blue pallet of money

The thieves took close to 11 million dollars

CASE DETAILS

A hand shoving a key into a key hole

Where did the thieves get a key?

On June 26, 1990, an armored car was on the way to a scheduled delivery in Rochester, New York. Inside the truck was nearly $11 million dollars in cash. Just after 7:00 AM, the armored truck made an unauthorized stop at a convenience store. The driver, Albert Ranieri, waited in the truck. A guard, who we will call Mary Wilson, went inside the store:

“We stopped there about once or twice a week and usually got about the same thing. And that morning there was no one in there when I walked in, it was just me and then a lady came in later on. It was normal.”

While Mary Wilson was buying coffee and doughnuts, a daring assault was unfolding just 100 feet away. A man in a Halloween mask put a gun to Albert’s head while another gunman forced his way into the back of the truck. Five minutes later, Mary Wilson returned to the truck, unaware that her partner was no longer in control:

“It happened so fast, I didn’t really get a chance to get scared. He pushed me to the floor and tied my hands and my feet together with plastic handcuffs.”

Albert Renieri next to a news article that reads 'Rochester Armored Car Robbery Partly Solved

Albert Ranieri pleaded guilty to the heist

Albert Ranieri was forced, at gunpoint, to drive to a secluded location, one and a half miles from the convenience store. According to Captain Neil Flood of the Monroe County, New York sheriff’s department, the armored truck was followed by a gray van:

“One couldn’t have picked a better location. It was about 75 to 100 yards off the road and it completely disappears from sight behind a small hill. And we know that the site had been prepared prior to the robbery. There are several tree branches that had been freshly cut to make sure that this large vehicle would fit.”

Authorities believe that the two robbers were met at the location by at least one other accomplice. Albert Ranieri was bound and gagged and forced on top of Mary Wilson. There was little dialogue between the robbers. According to Mary Wilson, the money was transferred with brisk efficiency:

“I sat there quiet, making sure I didn’t hear anymore voices. I was scared for my life. I kept thinking about my son and I just thought I was going to die. That’s why I broke loose because I wasn’t going to sit there and wait for somebody to come back and kill me.”

It took Mary Wilson 15 painful minutes to rip through the plastic handcuffs. Unable to free her partner, she drove the armored truck to company headquarters and reported the robbery. In less than an hour, the thieves had made off with nearly $11 million dollars. The next day, the get-away van was discovered five miles away. The interior was littered with over $13,000 in small bills–the leftovers of what authorities have determined was the largest on-the-road armored car robbery in United States history. It looked like an inside job. A conveniently broken porthole allowed one robber to hold the driver at gunpoint, while the other used a key to get in through the truck’s side door. Both gunmen wore clothing which was nearly identical to the uniforms worn by company employees. Finally, only a limited number of people were aware of the enormous amount of untraceable cash being transported that day.

Update:

It was indeed an inside job. Albert Ranieri, the driver of the hijacked vehicle, was tried and found guilty of unrelated racketeering charges. But at that time he also pled guilty to the armored car robbery. Ranieri refused to name his accomplices. None of the $11 million has ever been recovered.


Watch this case now on Amazon Prime in season four with Robert Stack and in season one with Dennis Farina. Also available on YouTube with Dennis Farina. Various seasons available now on Hulu.

 

22 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Jeezlouise

    They laundered the cash through the nightclub….Titanic. Oh the irony.

    Reply

  2. Avatar

    Old school R.O.C.

    I personally grown up with my school buddy and all the things that are said who what are all lies backup to the 1990 streets of Rochester NY Homeboy Albert rasied on Henreatta St 14620 wife name Tracey therasied off field St Patrick’s found with a million in a hotel in New York City Manhattan to be expecting, so to that’s all folks.the rest is a Mystery and good old-fashioned living.Albert a winner for life you are very straight percent.

    Reply

  3. Avatar

    Tim

    I know who did it where the money was put. I’ve known this since late 90s best friends with a family member. Thought of telling what I know but afraid of what might happen.

    Reply

  4. Avatar

    Heather Linford

    You are all under arrest for COLLUSION!

    Reply

  5. Avatar

    Al Capone

    I know were the money is and I killed evetyone involved so I got the dough
    Suckers

    Reply

  6. Avatar

    Jack Black

    I am from Rochester, I know where the money is hidden.

    Reply

  7. Avatar

    Chanita

    Ah Darn It

    Reply

  8. Avatar

    Anonymous

    As bad as it sounds, to me, ME, that sounds like a gr8 deal. 10 years to figure out how to spend and invest his share b4 going to do a bid and taking the rap closing tha case; well evn if his share was only One million, he was Nevr gonna make that much money in 10 years. Again, to me, it’d be nice to have a shot at a deal like that. Bare in mind, the robbery isn’t what got this guy 378da

    Reply

  9. Avatar

    Zim

    I know who you are.

    Reply

  10. Avatar

    Caesar

    Inside job. Obviously. Key. Only few knew of the huge cash. Why no lie detector on drivers/??????

    Reply

  11. Avatar

    Pope of Coney Island

    Sorry but none of you know what you think you know.

    Reply

  12. Avatar

    diva kicks ass

    Its not who you think it is so cast your imaginations into the wind with your piss.
    Besides time is of the essence; certainly too much time has elapsed.

    Reply

  13. Avatar

    Anonymous

    Did they ever check the cops out rumor has it a few were involved

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Anonymous

      Yes I heard a gates cop was involved in it he goes out of the country to 3 or 4 places every year I have a name but can’t say here

      Reply

    • Avatar

      Adam

      I know who the other people where who never got caught unsolved lol I know the whole thing their stupid if they didn’t catch them

      Reply

  14. Avatar

    jerry

    He will probably get his cut of the money when he gets out, if there is any left at that time

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Jay

      He enjoyed his share of the money. He wasn’t arrested till over 10yrs later. They could never prove he did it. He admitted he did it as part of a plea deal in a separate case. I spent some time with him as well in county while he was being held there. He really is a nice guy. Very respectful of others. He could have told and been out already. All is a stand up guy. The has a family. I wish him the best.

      Reply

  15. Avatar

    Jay

    I spent some time with him in prison in Pennsylvania… He was a really nice guy, was super helpful to me… all things considered..I’d consider him a friend. Just wanted to give a more fair view here…

    Reply

  16. Avatar

    Anonymous

    Ranieri filed for an early release from prison in 2014, but his request was denied:

    http://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/news/2014/04/08/ranieri-armored-car-robber-killer-seeks-release/7463457/

    Reply

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