In all criminal dramas, the audience is presented with an exciting and vivid scene of the robbery of banking institutions (or at worst a van with cash collectors), and the villains have the most advanced devices in their arsenal, laser drills and chisels, reconnaissance robots and perfect systems for bypassing tracking sensors. If you like movies about robberies and adrenaline, then you will surely like casino games.
How much does this correspond to the truth? Let’s try to figure out why we will give some examples from real life.
Stanley Mark Rifkin: The Evaporation of Ten Million
Although you can’t tell from the look of it, there are not so many asset frauds in banks. Numerous security systems and hardware encryption, along with passwords, pose many obstacles to crooks. And even if the money was “stolen”, the bank can easily cancel the operation, unless, of course, the villain did not have time to cash out the money.
The most famous crime of this kind was the case of Stanley Rifkin, 32, an employee of a consulting agency in California. He serviced the computers of one of the banks in Los Angeles. Of course, there were many operations, including those related to cross-border transfers. These operations were confirmed by a master code that changed daily. Taking advantage of his official position, our programmer hacked the security system and remembered the password, which was written on the board with a felt-tip pen.
After a while, a certain Mile Hansen contacted the bank and asked to transfer money to a trust fund account in New York. The amount was very substantial – 10 million. Of course, it was Rifkin himself. In a couple of weeks, during which the bank’s management realized that they had been screwed, a cunning fraudster converted 8 million into diamonds exported from the USSR and imported them to the USA. That’s where he got burned – at the implementation stage.
Late Xix — Early Xx Century: All-In!
The Polish film classic, the film “All-in”, showed a classic robbery in a quiet way of the era of the 30s, when there were no cameras yet, and the alarm system had already appeared. There is no fantastic element in the tape – on the contrary, everything is very realistic.
The first such method was used by the American Leslie, for whom bank robberies were nothing more than a hobby. He came up with and planned a method that is still used by professional thieves. He sketched a plan of the bank, pretending to be a customer, memorized the model of the safe, purchased the same one – and instructed his team to spend hours perfecting the opening of this particular model in pitch darkness in a dummy bank vault.
They never managed to detain him, although in 1884 his career was interrupted by a bandit during a showdown with bootlegger competitors.
Dig and Drill
A lot of raids on banks in the 60s and 70s had the form of a tunnel with subsequent penetration. For the organization, they used the sewer system or rented houses in the neighborhood, dug an underground passage, and made their way with its help to the depository of a financial organization. To overcome the armored walls, argon welding or dynamite, or other explosives were used.
The famous 1972 robbery on Baker Street, where the same tactics were used, was dedicated to a British film with Jason Statham as the main character. At the same time, the name was translated into our language as “Robbery on Baker Street” – they did not bother for a long time.