Sloto Magazine Blog
In history, we find several astounding cases where banks and vaults have been robbed for unbelievable amounts. We have sifted through countless bank robbery stories to bring you the most famous cases.
The Dunbar Armored robbery
This was an inside job, masterminded by Allen Pace who worked as a safety inspector for the Dunbar trucking company. In 1997, Allen timed the security cameras so he could easily avoid them. He brought in 5 of his childhood friends to help him rob the vault. They broke in without being filmed and assaulted two guards on their lunch break. They loaded the money in a waiting U-Haul truck and almost got away with it!
The police suspected it was an inside job and checked on Allen but found no evidence. The robbers began to launder the money through property deals and phony businesses. One of the gang members sloppily gave an estate broker friend a stack of money still bound with the original currency straps. This friend called the police and arrested the gang member who later confessed of the crime and named his co-conspirators. Allen Pace was arrested and given 24 years of prison time. Less than $5 million of the stolen money was recovered.
The Brink's-Mat burglary
This is probably Britain’s most notorious bank heist and has even been described as the ‘crime of the century’. In 1983, security guard Anthony Black led a group of robbers into the Brink’s-Mat warehouse located in London’s Heathrow airport. Once inside, they poured petrol over the staff and threatened to light them on fire if they did not reveal the combination numbers of the vault. The robbers got access and originally thought they would steal around £3.2 million in cash but, to their surprise, they found 3,000 kilograms of gold bullion and diamonds. At today’s worth, they stole over 88 million pounds of cash, diamonds and gold!
Over the next few several months gang members were arrested but the majority of the gold was not recovered.
The Knightsbridge Security Deposit robbery
This is considered one of the three biggest bank robberies of all time. It took place in 1987 and was led by Valerio Viccei, an Italian national who had a precedent of 50 armed robberies. He managed to get help from a managing director at Knightsbridge, who was a cocaine user and was heavily in debt.
Two of the robbers entered the bank and requested to rent a safe deposit box. They were lead to the vault, where they drew their handguns. Once the staff was subdued, they hung a sign stating that the bank was temporarily closed whilst letting further accomplices into the bank. They broke into as many safe boxes as they could and took with them over £60 million pounds at today’s worth.
Forensic investigators found a bloody fingerprint belonging to Valerio Viccei, but he had fled to South America by then. Valerio came back later to England to retrieve his Ferrari which he intended to ship to South America and got arrested in this occasion and sentenced to 22 years in prison.
Life after COVID-19
As featured on Sloto Magazine
Governments and media around the world are speaking of a ‘New Normal’, a term referring to how life will look after the COVID-19 pandemic. The language employed by politicians and media outlets may seem harmless enough, but redefining our new reality as a newer version of ‘normal’ – whatever that is – is dangerously ignoring the fact that ‘normal’ has not been working for a majority of society.
The global economic megastructure wants us to keep going just like before: spending our income by consuming products, so they can continue to produce profits. The idea of a ‘new normal’ is being framed as the inability to continue life as we knew it in terms of social gatherings (social distancing is still in force in many countries around the world), compulsion to isolate when we feel sick, constantly sanitize our bodies, and the acceptance of emergency measures taken by governments to mend and stimulate the economy; all the while, we are expected to continue consuming so the economic machine does not collapse.
Before we jump into any new order of normality we must first deal with the psychological stresses that COVID-19 has engendered. The extended period of isolation has impacted many sectors of society, especially vulnerable groups such as the elderly, patients with mental illness, and sections of society with low to extremely low income. This is the time to address these issues and try to improve sectors of society that have desperately been calling for help even before the pandemic began. It is estimated that COVID-19 could push over half a billion people into poverty.
It is thus important that we first of all regain our mental stability. Psychologist advise the importance to honor our grief, losses and existential challenges through meditation, communication, creative expression (e.g. art or dance), or keeping a journal. Talk to friends, family or a therapist of the impact of COVID-19 in your life. Try to find the peace of mind to gently ease back into your daily routine. Once we are back to feeling strong, we must voice our concerns about the need to restructure our society so minorities and vulnerable sectors are supported and helped to thrive. If we will accept the term ‘New Normal’, let it be about a world where equality, sustainability and justice are part and parcel of normality!
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