Thieves make off with nearly $1 million in under a minute.

Police Sketch of a Caucasian man with light hair and sunglasses

Wanted for robbery

Suspect #1:

Gender: Male
DOB: 1962 to 1972 approx.
Height: 6’ approx.
Hair: Grey or white
Defining Characteristics: May wear a false beard

Police Sketch of a Caucasian man with dark hair light eyes and a mustache

Wanted for robbery

Suspect #2:
Gender: Male
DOB: 1962 to 1972 approx.
Height: 6’ approx.
Weight: Between 170 and 180 lbs.

Police Sketch of a Caucasian man with dark hair dark eyes and a mustache

Wanted for robbery

Suspect #3:
Gender: Male
DOB: 1962 to 1972 approx.
Height: 5’9” approx.
Hair: Dark
Defining Characteristics: Dark moustache

CASE DETAILS

Police and Bomb squad arrive at the shopping center where the crime took place

The bomb was a fake

April 19, 1989. Eden Prairie, Minnesota. At 1 p.m., armored car company guards performing an ordinary afternoon pick up suddenly found themselves under siege by a band of thieves– thieves with a plan to get rich in less than 60 seconds.

One guard grabbed one of the robbers’ guns but was quickly overpowered. Immediately, another vehicle pulled up in front of the armored car, blocking its escape. A fourth robber then placed what looked like a bomb on the truck’s hood.

In just under a minute, the robbers had stolen close to one million dollars in cash from the armored car, and then vanished without a trace.  Robert Roman, of the FBI investigated the case:

“It seemed like kind of a commando type thing, like these people had been well trained at that type of thing. These robbers come very heavily armed and very much ready to shoot.”

Using a rope and pulley rig, the bomb squad carefully removed the bomb from the hood.
X-rays revealed that it was just a fake, a clever tactic to buy even more time.

Fake bomb seperated into its individual pieces

Same bomb as previous robbery

The FBI linked the fake bomb to an identical device used in a Baltimore, Maryland robbery three years earlier.  In that operation, the same gang of thieves made off with over $600,000.

It was thought that the gang would quit while they were more than a million dollars ahead.  But one year later, they struck again.

Just ten miles from the scene of the last robbery, in the town of Burnsville, Minnesota, a Brinks guard was waiting in the cab while his partner began loading the back of the armored car with cash.

Suddenly, the armed gang arrived and forced the guard loading he cash to the ground.  The Brinks driver was terrified:

“As I turned around, I could see this van was coming up in front of me. I hit the van real hard. I turned the siren on, shots went off, scared the living daylights out of me … I could see my partner on the ground.  All those shots that were going on, I thought they’d killed him.  I thought he was dead.  He was just laying on the ground.”

A getaway car pulled up and the thieves raced off. Robert Roman says it is fortunate that no one was injured:

“It’s a real lucky situation that some innocent bystander wasn’t killed, ‘cause there were a number of shots fired and there were a number of shoppers passing and bank customers passing right by the area.”

The robbers abandoned their car behind a nearby shopping center and fled on foot. The FBI believes they may have had another vehicle parked nearby.

Authorities brought in tracking dogs and set up roadblocks, but the gang had once again made a clean getaway.

The following morning, police found one of the stolen getaway cars less than a mile from the bank. It contained no evidence that could identify the robbers. Robert Roman, FBI:

“These individuals could be living anywhere in the United States, and we would like to get information from anybody who has any indication that people that may be able to perpetrate this type of crime have come into a lot of money, or that had the capability to commit these robberies in any one of these three cities.”


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

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10 Comments

  1. Avatar

    xen

    I might be completely off base, but I’m currently a college student in Minnesota, originally from New England. My freshman year of college, a girl at a party mentioned something about her family came into a ridiculous amount of money out of nowhere in the late 80’s. I think she said something about her biological dad being former military, he brought money to his ex-wife and essentially said he’d never see her again and she could consider it child support
    (since she was pregnant with his sin, my friend’s older brother) money. He was working a basic warehouse job so they never knew where he got the money. I believe at the time they’d been living in Chanhassen, though I could be wrong. Thought it was a weird coincidence. I fell out of contact when she transferred schools, so I can’t ask her.

    Reply

  2. Avatar

    Johnny

    I remember this case from years back. Sounds like these guys were ex-military or in the same squadron. Probably well-trained and tight knit group. Not going to talk. With that amount of $, they could be in Alaska, Canada, France, Hawaii, Mexico. Some tropical island. Anywhere possibly. These guys probably around 50-55 now. It’s been a long time but some kind of witness hypnosis could provide something like a tattoo or voice accent. Minnesota is close to Canada. That’s where I would check. Cities and towns along the Canadian border. They might have stopped to eat at a restaurant or fuel up their cars. I think almost 30 years now…These robbers might have pulled the perfect crime. However, 3 people involved only need info on 1. Then, that could lead to a rest of the gang. This definitely is a case that needs to be refeatured. Like the List case. What these robbers would look at 50-55 today. A bust or sketches. Worth a shot.

    Reply

  3. Avatar

    Zach

    I remember going to Target with my family while they were filming the reinactment at First Bank across the parking lot. I though that I had imagined the whole thing until I saw this episode on Amazon!

    Reply

  4. Avatar

    Jeremy

    Where was this in Burnsville exactly?

    Reply

  5. Avatar

    Kilroy OIF

    Is this the same as the burnsville Minn believe Oct 1989. Remember hearing All the excitement and commotion, Plus hearing on the 10pm WCCO news. Greezs that been 28 years ago. Wonder if the person’s of interest still alive?

    Reply

  6. Avatar

    B

    Is this case still active? Have they found these suspects yet? Also is there any evidence they struck again?

    Reply

  7. Avatar

    DennisOn

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