Jewelry Heists

cullotta-cover-web.jpgExcerpted from CULLOTTA – The Life of a Chicago Criminal, Las Vegas Mobster, and Government Witness 

Jewelry stores were lucrative targets for thieves. Always on the lookout for good scores, Frank wasn’t shy about hitting a jewelry store now and then. However, they weren’t easy to burglarize and those jobs required special planning. Frank came up with two ideas and used them both.

For the first plan Frank had his partner, a guy named Duke, dress up in a painter’s uniform, complete with paint sprinkles on it. He even used a van with lettering on it to make it look like a painter’s work vehicle. The scheme called for Duke to enter the store and ask to see a piece of jewelry, and then to mace both clerks. At that point Frank would come in and they’d tie up the clerks, put a closed for remodeling sign in the window and do the robbery.

On the day of the caper there were only a couple of minor snags. When Frank walked into the store the mace was still in the air and he and Duke both got it in their faces. It was annoying, but not debilitating. And as Frank was locking the door a guy wanted to come in to get a bracelet. Frank told him the store was closed and sent him on his way. He and Duke cleaned out the vault and got away with a pretty good haul.

The second plot required Frank to do something he never thought he’d do: dress as a Chicago cop. He had the whole uniform, belt, badge and gun, everything issued to real cops. Frank took two other men on the job with him. One of them would assist Frank inside the store after he gained control of the employees; the other manned the work car.

Frank entered the store and asked to see the manager. He told him his car was parked illegally and he had to move it right away or get a ticket. When the manager and the clerks came out from behind the counter to check the parking situation, Frank pulled his gun and ordered them to the floor. He told them not to move and that no one would get hurt if they behaved. The manager finally began to realize that something was fishy, and was slow to comply. He looked at Frank and said, “You’ve gotta be kidding. I don’t even think you’re a real police officer.”

Frank snarled, “It doesn’t make any difference who the fuck I am. You’d better get on the goddamn floor, stay quiet and don’t look up.”

When all the employees were under control, Frank used a walkie-talkie to contact the work car. His assistant came in and they loaded a duffle bag with merchandise. In jewelry store robberies the safe was always emptied first to assure making off with the most valuable stuff — the diamonds. And then, time permitting, lesser items were taken. Watches were a low priority because they could be easily traced.

 After cleaning the place out, the employees were taken into a back room and tied up with duct tape. The phones were pulled out of the wall and the bandits left with a good score. 

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One Response to “Jewelry Heists”

  1. Ghillie Suits » cullotta-cover-web.jpg Says:

    […] Check it out! While looking through the blogosphere we stumbled on an interesting post today.Here’s a quick excerpt uniform, belt, badge and gun, everything issued to real cops. Frank took two other men on the job… situation, Frank pulled his gun and ordered them to the floor. He told them not to move and that no one […]

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