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February 26, 2006 1:43 AM   Subscribe

"It's not the robbery that separates the amateur from the professional. It's the way you deal with the money afterwards." A fascinating analysis of the Tonbridge heist.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium (19 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The A Team
Six brothers are the main figures in south-east London's top crime family. Long-standing relationship with R. History of armed robbery and serious crime, although flourishing drugs trade makes them less likely to have carried out the raid.

They ended up hiring Guy Ritchie to direct the remake.
posted by insomnus at 2:55 AM on February 26, 2006

The 2002 Proceeds of Crime Act means that law enforcement agents can seize cash over the value of £5,000 if the owner cannot provide evidence that it was earned legitimately.

That is certainly a stunning law. Guilty until proven innocent with a financial incentive for law enforcement abuse. The accountants have already won.
posted by srboisvert at 3:27 AM on February 26, 2006

If you think that's bad!! It has always annoyed me that I can't go into a bank or bureaux de change here in the UK to buy my niece and nephews a few Euros as birthday presents. Recently I realised I left my drivers licence in another bag and was told because I did not have photo ID I could not purchase 50 Euros? About £30. AARGH! Any of the smurf's trying this will be on record and can easily be traced back I support money-lundering legislation but when it goes to those extremes you lose the public's goodwill, which will always be essential.

The police used very interesting psy-ops tactics on this one. They announced on day 2 that up to £50 million could have been stolen, while offering a reward of £2million. Well, it turns out that rewards can be up to 10% of what was taken and still covered by the insurance company. The lower down grunts and smurfs hearing that might have been pissed off with their share and spilled the beans. Or, as one of the women arrested, gone into their local building soceity with bricks of cash marked Tonbridge and tried to deposit them!!
posted by Wilder at 5:25 AM on February 26, 2006

My favorite paragraph:

After a long, nerve-shattering and complicated process in which the robbers might be betrayed, found out or cheated at any step, they can finally flash a little cash. The loot would be enough to buy 160 Rolls-Royce Phantom cars. If they have not already gone to prison, killed each other or been driven mad.
posted by A dead Quaker at 6:17 AM on February 26, 2006

I wish I was a cool bank robber.
posted by password at 7:15 AM on February 26, 2006

"Noted in younger days for wearing a trilby over his balaclava during robberies."
posted by Nelson at 9:06 AM on February 26, 2006

"I wish I was a cool bank robber."

"In a statement read out by a spokesman, Colin Dixon, manager of the Tonbridge Securitas cash depot who was kidnapped on Tuesday evening along with his wife Lynn and eight-year-old son Craig, said that the family's 'horrific' ordeal had been the 'worst night of my life'. He continued: 'But more than that, it was the worst night in the lives of my wife Lynn and our son Craig. The terror of what happened and the horror of what might have happened is with us in every waking moment.

'This horrific experience angers me beyond belief. We are a normal law-abiding family, and no one should have to suffer as we have done.

'For the criminals to use me is bad enough, but to kidnap my wife and child and put guns against their heads and threaten them with death is something so frightening that words cannot convey them today."

How cool is that?
posted by iviken at 9:35 AM on February 26, 2006

Imagine my surprise that laws put in place to combat the funding of terrorism end up being used to "prevent crime" not committed under even the auspices of terrorism. Not to mention the inconvenience to anyone legitimately open a bank account with any sizeable amount of cash indefinitely.

Is your homeland secure...from itself?
posted by rollbiz at 9:53 AM on February 26, 2006

Saaarf laahndaaan is in effect, innit.

Yeew slaaaaaags!

The pittsburgs and cab ranks ain't gonna get thier jazz bands on my sausage! After some grease & grime, get myself a nice Danny Mar, Cat and Mouse, off to Ibiza. Luuuverly.
posted by lalochezia at 9:57 AM on February 26, 2006

wierd that this happened while Firewall is in theaters. the robbers and the movie makers were probably preparing at the same time...
posted by cgs at 11:25 AM on February 26, 2006

Don't fuck with Sammy the Kurd.
posted by bardic at 11:31 AM on February 26, 2006

Why is it that when this kind of thing happens in the U.S., we don't have suspects with names like "Mister R", "The A Team", and "Grandfather"? Fighting crime would be much more popular if the criminals name were more Hollywood.
posted by ontic at 12:25 PM on February 26, 2006

cgs: The Securitas robbery seems to have closely followed (and in many ways improved on) the 2004 Northern Bank robbery. It's likely that the Firewall production was using a similar model, "tiger kidnapping", which is increasingly common in Northern Ireland (for smaller crimes) and has apparently been imported from South America, possibly through the IRA-FARC connection.

The cash deposit in the article is a red herring -- the arrested woman, a Salvation Army nurse, plans to sue. Obviously any cash bundles coming from the depot would have the same strap, not just the stolen ones.
posted by dhartung at 12:40 PM on February 26, 2006 [1 favorite]

Great article!
posted by zach4000 at 4:20 AM on February 27, 2006

Interesting article. Thanks. I agree about the names.
posted by OmieWise at 6:54 AM on February 27, 2006

It's interesting to think about. I'm glad I don't have these problems. What good is having tens of millions of bucks if you can't spend them?
posted by raedyn at 8:24 AM on February 27, 2006

Flash article!

The language and robbery bring to mind the Victorian underworld slang in Michael Crichton's novel and movie, The Great Train Robbery (which was based on the true Great Gold Robbery of 1855.)
posted by cenoxo at 9:26 AM on February 27, 2006

posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 12:00 AM on March 2, 2006

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