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


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.


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.



  1. Jack jack

    Some of the money allegedly went to Red Fedele, as he coincidentally opened the larger restaurant that is running today shortly after. The stolen armored van was also found off of Ridge Rd by 84 lumber….not far from where Red Fedele’s old restaurant was


  2. Bike racer

    There’s another side to Al, the Al I knew. Albert was a national-level, amateur bicycle racer in the 1980s. In 1982, he placed 2nd in the Junior National Championships (the winner, Roy Knickman, became a 1984 Olympian and turned pro later in Europe). Thereafter, Albert raced in the Pro/Senior 1+2 category (Elite category) for a number of teams, including Team Batavus, a Dutch bike brand. While Albert raced mostly on the East coast and in the Midwest on the criterium circuit, he was talented enough to race with the U.S. national team (1984 Tour of Chile), and catch the attention of Len Pettyjohn (manager of 1980s stars like Olympian Alexi Grewal). In a cycling article in the late 80s/early 90s, Pettyjohn was asked about USA Cycling’s (the governing body) system for developing talent. Pettyjohn’s response was that the system was poor and that many talented riders fell through the cracks. In his response he also made reference to a rider who had talent and potential, but fell through those cracks: Albert Ranieri.


  3. John Doe

    I don’t have anything to add to this story except I was in the same class growing up with Albert’s children. I won’t name which. I just remember going there for parties and seeing how extravagant their house was. I had heard rumors of mob ties but I was too young to comprehend any of this. This was nearly 20 years ago. His 30 year sentence is almost up. I wonder if he stays in contact with his children or what they think of them.


  4. Tim O.

    Albert Raneri, was, as a young man, a national caliber bicycle racer. Someone from that era is scanning old newsletters about the WNY racing scene and posting them; pointing out how Raneri had an “interesting” life after cycling. All I recall is how talented he was, and what a nice kid he was.


  5. Eduard

    Why did you get here?


  6. Sara

    Was “Mary Wilson” ever convinced?


  7. Roc Kid

    Anybody alive at that time and lived in Rochester would know that a lot of the money was destroyed when they found it in an old motel near 12 corners Brighten. Not sure if it was the majority of it but It was most likely from this heist.


  8. Kickles

    Idk if this is true but the rumor I always heard growing up in Rochester was that at least some of the money was funneled to the Irish Republican Army. Makes some sense for the time and there were a few bars in the area with those kind of connections


    • Mike

      I used to go to a bar called Molly Malones up on Mount Read Blvd in Rochester and I heard rumors that they had about 3 million in the basement of that place from the heist. Needless to say that bars been closed for years and I heard that the owner took off Ireland.


  9. Lt. H

    This case always intrigued me. I was one of the investigators. First there was never any key, he opened the door but said they had a key. Some money was recovered but we could never trace it back to the armored car because none of the serial numbers were ever recorded. We always believed that he would have eventually given up his co-conspirators especially when he was facing 30 years and he never did. That is something that you usually don’t see in cases like these. I must admit As much as I wanted him to give up the rest, I have so much respect for him for taken all thise years and not running his mouth.


  10. Anonymous

    The money wasn’t in the bricks in the back yard


  11. Johnny Diamond

    Somewhere on a beach in Hawaii or The Florida Keys you might find the other co-conspirators. Seems like they did not blab and were smart. Because if they started bragging about this robbery a jealous anonymous tipster would turn them in.


  12. Jeezlouise

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


  13. 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.


  14. MJ

    I am a family member and you are all full of -! Not a one of you know ANYTHING!! Check yourself before you wreck yourselves FOOLISH ignorant people!!


  15. 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.


    • Unsolved Mysteries Post author

      Hi Tim – please send us more information at unsolved@unsolved.com, through our tip form (http://unsolved.com/tips/) or through our app. Thank you.


    • County Tyrone

      U know better than that don’t ya


    • Michael torpey

      Tim, do u sleep well at night? This must cause u some sort of stress.(if not alot) how long did u think about telling before deciding to not say anything except the little that u have. I feel for u my friend. Just one more thing: do u know all about what happened without someone(s) telling it to u, but that it was known to u through another way.(there are many ways that things take place, or found out. if u know what i mean) try hard not to let alot of weight fall heavily down on ur shoulders or heart! From what i read into what u wrote it just sounds like u’re feeling guilty in some way about all u know, and i’d be feeling that same way tim. It comes along with having a right frame of body,mind,soul. Hang in there bud. -mike-


      • Damiea Cahoon

        I met Tommy, at work, He was a friend of friend, but I worked in IRC Attica at the last meeting….I am so sorry for your loss. If your available to communicate, my email is listed. Godbless


  16. Heather Linford

    You are all under arrest for COLLUSION!


  17. Al Capone

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


  18. Jack Black

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


  19. Chanita

    Ah Darn It


  20. 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


  21. Zim

    I know who you are.


  22. Caesar

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


  23. Pope of Coney Island

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


  24. 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.


  25. Anonymous

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


  26. jerry

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


    • 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.


  27. 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…


  28. Anonymous

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



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