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