Cash in Transit Robberies
Updated March 15 2013
Welcome to the second most popular page (after the home page) on this website. Under this category you will find examples of actual cash in transit robberies, and there are other examples elsewhere on this site. We currently only have an average rating for this page, perhaps because it does not show a clear way of pulling a cash in transit heist without something going wrong. If you’ve got some inside knowledge which you would like to contribute to this page, email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or go to our chat room at http://www.pliner.net/appchat/4005fcf/.
Cash in transit (CIT or CViT Cash and Valuables in Transit) robberies are a popular form of armed robbery, attacking cash at its most vulnerable. The cash vans themselves these days are very well protected but it’s the guards walking to and from their vans with the cash boxes who are the weak point. An example of the kind of CIT container in use can be seen at http://www.gehrersharp.co.uk/cvit-cash-valuables-in-transit#vs5005-cash-protection-system, and a protective box for cash cassettes that a guard might be carrying from the van to the end user can be viewed at http://www.3sisecurity.eu/files/products/downloads/IntelligentBox_commercialsheet_EN_v01_20111123.pdf. If you want to see inside a cash van just look at the website of a cash van manufacturer. For example, to see the Mercedes-Benz Vario go to http://www.stoof-international.de/en/cash-in-transit/mb-vario/gallery/. This shows the van as it is when empty. An example of the kind of rack system which could be found inside an operational van can be seen at http://www.3sisecurity.eu/files/certificates/logos/IntelligentRack_commercialsheet_EN_v01_20111128.pdf
Cash boxes are often equipped with exploding coloured smoke/dye packs and/or tracking devices, or some of the money inside may be marked. The smoke shows that a robbery is in progress, hampers the escape of the robber or robbers, stains any banknotes being stolen so that they are probably unusable, and stains the skin and clothing of the robber or robbers so that they may more easily be identified. Other systems incorporate a liquid dye or an ink to stain the banknotes. Follow this link to a website which provides advice to the Police on “cash degredation systems” – http://www.banknotewatch.co.uk/police.html. We have an example further down this page of how robbers after one robbery tried to remove stains with nail varnish remover, bleach and Lucozade, after having opened the cash box with a power saw.
Despite the effectiveness of such dye or smoke emitting devices, there is still a chance that particularly determined robbers will manage to make their escape, or that sophisticated criminals might defeat the smoke device by enclosing it in an hermetically sealed casing which presumably starves the smoke of oxygen and prevents it from spreading to cover the robbers (this method is admitted in the tracking device patent referenced at http://www.google.com/patents/EP1688897B1?cl=en). This is why tracking devices have been developed to complement smoke emitting devices.
Tracking devices may be thwarted by placing in a Faraday cage. Faraday cages are also used by shoplifters in the form of booster bags which defeat stores’ security tags.
For an example of a cassette tracking system on the market have a look at http://www.3sisecurity.eu/files/products/downloads/CassetteTrack_commercialsheet_EN_v02_20110823.pdf
For an example of a cash tracking system on the market have a look at http://www.3sisecurity.eu/files/products/downloads/CashTrack_commercialsheet_EN_v02_20110823.pdf
For an example of the kind of advanced marking that can be applied to the contents of cash boxes visit http://www.adnas.com/applications/cash-in-transit. The particular product on this site is used by Loomis UK to mark banknotes, and details of their cash in transit operations can be found at http://www.loomis.co.uk/how-we-support-you/business-and-retail/cash-a-valuables-in-transit.html. This kind of marked money needs careful “laundering”, as the DNA marking links the marked note to the cash box which was stolen. The news article immediately below shows a conviction which involved this product:
“DNA first for East Lancashire armed robbery prosecution
THE prosecution of an East Lancashire gang jailed for two armed robberies was the first in the country to use DNA coding of bank notes.
Dean Farrell, David Evans, Colin McCash, Simon Ginn and James Mulholland were sentenced to at least 50 years on 14 May 2010 for their parts in two raids in Preston Old Road, Cherry Tree, Blackburn and Thornton Cleveleys in 2008.
McCash, 32, of Spencer Street, Accrington, was caught on CCTV spending dye-stained £20 notes, stolen from the Blackburn robbery, at a petrol station in Accrington.
Police said ‘groundbreaking’ technology helped put the case together.
Tony Woodward, of Applied DNA Sciences (ADNAS) said: “ADNAS creates unique taggers. They are covert invisible codes, created from botanical plant material.
“For Loomis we provide a unique DNA code for every cash-in-transit box. It goes into the boxes where the dye sits.
“If the dye is deployed, the DNA is deployed and gets on to the notes.
“Once the DNA is on there, no matter how much washing is done by the criminals to try and remove the dye, the DNA remains and lasts for 350 years.
“In this particular case we were asked by Lancashire Police to authenticate some notes they had recovered.
“Our results proved conclusively the DNA code from the cashbox in question was the signature we found on those notes.
“This was the first time notes were recovered and submitted to us for testing.”
There are approximately 1,000 Loomis boxes in the UK.
“If they are broken into, or not opened in a set short amount of time, the dye inside the box explodes.
The majority of the £70,000 total the gang stole in the two robberies has never been recovered.
According to Detective Superintendent Neil Hunter, the notes were so tightly packed together by the gang, the dye only stained the edges of many of the notes.
He said: “Somebody has had a good time on it or it could still be buried somewhere.
“If you’re going out at night with cash into nightclubs, pubs, casinos, where perhaps the lighting isn’t as good, these notes wouldn’t stick out.””
The above picture shows one of the dye-stained notes, but it’s interesting to note that in this case most of the money was probably hardly stained at all and has never been recovered, even though the robbers were convicted. So even if your money has been stained, it’s not the end of the world.
In the UK the British Retail Consortium publishes best practice guidelines for retailers involved in CViT (see Loomis_CVIT_Best_Practice_3rd_Edition). This shows the kinds of precautions retailers (especially larger stores such as supermarkets) are advised to take in the CIT process. Appendix 6 shows examples of the three most common types of dye-stained banknotes.
Skill is also needed in sussing whether the guard is on his way to collect money or whether he is delivering it (the difference between an empty box and one stuffed with notes). The following flowchart from the Loomis website is useful in understanding the CIT process:
It follows from this that visits to businesses other than banks are generally to collect cash, while visits to banks are generally to deposit cash. So the robber’s best chance outside a store is to hit the guards as they return to the van, while his best chance outside a bank is to do the job as the guards walk from the van to the bank entrance. Visits to ATMs will always be to stock the machines with cash (see our page on ATM robberies at http://armedrobberadvice.com/planning/atm-robberies/).
One way that robbers have attempted to foil the devices inside cash boxes is to immerse them in water as soon as possible after they are snatched. This is not something you will find much reference to in the media (we’ve only ever found a few references on the entire web), as it gives people ideas. Read these four examples though:
A STRING of armed ‘cash in transit’ robberies which netted more than £70,000 over two years ended after a high-speed police chase through Leeds, a jury at Leeds Crown Court heard.
In one case, Darren Sobande, 32, and Anthony Bryant, 37, stopped the stolen Honda Civic at Morrisons supermarket, Hunslet, before discarding clothes in the store’s aisles last September 17, claim the prosecution.
The jury heard police found an axe in the Honda and a bin of water which the prosecution claim was a regular feature of the alleged robberies – used in bid to disable alarms and dye spraying devices in stolen cash boxes.
The court heard Bryant had been wearing two layers of clothing and had a home-made mask.
Prosecutor Nicholas Johnson said on December 29 2005 a Group 4 security guard collecting from Tesco, Roundhay Road, Oakwood, Leeds, was threatened by a balaclava-clad man brandishing an axe. The robber and three other men escaped with the cash box containing £37,000 in £20 notes. The cash in the box was stained with a unique red and black dye.
Mr Johnson said Sobande laundered some cash buying phone cards from machines at St James’s Hospital and Leeds General Infirmary.
Hospital staff noticed hundreds of pounds in stained bank notes while emptying the machines and a camera was set up at LGI by police. The court heard Sobande, who was caught on camera at the hospital, tried to throw away a set of keys for a Chevrolet people carrier in the car park after he was arrested.
Sobande, of Wesley Road, Armley, Leeds and Bryant, 37, of Hyde Park Road, Burley, Leeds deny conspiring with others to commit robberies between December 2005 and September 2007.
This is an extract from actual court papers: “The robbery offence to which all the offenders pleaded guilty took place at approximately 12.15 pm on 7 January 2003 outside the Ulster Bank, Market Square, Antrim. Police had been informed that an armed gang intended to rob Securicor staff while they carried out a transaction at the bank. A police surveillance team was put in place and police officers took on the role of the Securicor staff who would normally have been involved in the delivery to the bank. While walking from the Securicor vehicle to the bank, one of these officers (who was carrying a cash box containing £25,000) was approached from behind and struck on the head with a gun by the offender X who then snatched the cash box. Immediately after that other police officers came to the scene; they apprehended X and recovered the weapon and the cash box. It was found that the firearm was imitation. A second person (who was arrested at the scene but later absconded) was arrested a short distance away. He was driving a stolen vehicle in which a bin filled with water was discovered. The driver was found to have two mobile telephones in his possession and a set of keys for a Volvo motor car.”
Check this video from 04:25. It’s not a cash in transit heist but you can see the same idea for disabling a tracking device. The money can be dried out afterwards:
Submerging in water can disable tracking devices but is less successful with dye, as the article below from South Africa (2008):
“Eleven armed robbers have been arrested moments after a cash-in-transit heist when members of the public, police and security assisted in hunting them down. At 9.30am on Sunday, a Coin Security crew had just completed their transaction at the Westonaria Shoprite/Checkers in Edward Avenue when they were held up by a gang lurking at the store’s tills, explained Coin Security’s Johan Myburgh.
Altogether, at least 12 armed robbers appeared in and around the shop, grabbing the Coin Security crew’s money box and one of the security guard’s firearms. As the gang fled the scene, they fired wildly at the cash-in-transit armoured vehicle, wounding a bystander in the process.
Piling into three getaway cars – a black Golf, white Toyota Corolla and Mazda 626 – the gang sped down Edward Avenue and one block up into Forbes Street. Three blocks down Forbes Street, as the three getaway cars turned into Johnston Street, the Corolla collided with a vehicle and overturned. Injured and bleeding, the three gang members in the crashed Corolla continued their flight on foot.
“We picked up blood trails and foot spoors,” said Myburgh, whose security company was assisting police in the hunt for the armed robbers. Following the trails and acting on information from local residents in Westonaria, the police raided five houses and slowly started rounding up the suspects.
One suspect was arrested near the railway line, close to Forbes Street. In a nearby veld, police recovered a 9mm pistol. Eventually, police were directed to a house on Johnston Street, less than 2km from the scene of the armed robbery.
“The black Golf and Mazda were already parked in a getaway position,” said Myburgh. Members of the police’s Flying Squad, Dog Unit and Crime Prevention Unit decided to storm the house where the rest of the gang were thought to be hiding out. “We surprised them,” said police Superintendent Lungelo Dlamini.
Police arrested five of the gang without a shot being fired. They also recovered two AK-47s and four pistols. Sparsely furnished and run-down, police suspect the house was used as a safe house by the gang. Local residents directed police to two more members of the gang hiding behind the house.
Inside, the house was littered with liquor bottles and muti was on display. In the bathroom, the bath was covered in blue ink. The gang had apparently submerged the CPC in water in an effort to disarm the cash box but had failed, instead detonating the dye that stained their loot and left it useless.“
Careful planning is obviously required in order to pull off a successful cash in transit robbery. The article below shows what happens if the job is not thought through:
“20 years’ jail for Birmingham robbery team who attacked Securicor van
July 13 2010
THREE members of a “professional” robbery team who attacked a Securicor van in Birmingham and sped off in a stolen car have been jailed for a combined 20 years.
Two of the raiders were caught following a high-speed pursuit while a third was tracked down because he had left a letter addressed to him in clothes he abandoned.
Yassir Ali, 24, of Russell Road, Hall Green, Imran Mohammed, 24, of Esme Road, Sparkhill and Christopher Wells, 22, of Upper Meadow Road, Quinton, all admitted a charge of robbery.
Ali, who had also previously been convicted of possessing heroin with intent, was jailed for eight years.
Judge William Davis QC, said: “It was not a highly sophisticated robbery and it was not a robbery involving the use of a weapon but it was planned and premeditated.”
He said two of the defendants had dressed in a way that would have been “highly threatening and frightening” and that the offence “had the trappings of professional crime”.
Anthony Johnston, prosecuting at Birmingham Crown Court, said on September 17 last year a Securicor driver took a delivery of cash from Farm Foods in Warwick Road, Acocks Green.
He was walking back to his van when he became aware of a vehicle approaching at high speed and then two men wearing dark clothes and balaclavas coming towards him, one running.
Realising he was about to be attacked he put down his security box containing just over £5,000 and got into his vehicle.
The men, Ali and Wells, picked up the box and jumped into a Vauxhall Vectra being driven by Mohammed which had false number plates.
Mr Johnston said the security guard had activated a tracking device on the cash box and shortly afterwards an officer saw the Vectra speeding past him and gave chase.
He said the Vectra reached speeds in excess of 90mph and when it became blocked in traffic went on the wrong side of the road.
Mr Johnston said the vehicle had been damaged in a collision and the robbers abandoned it, jumping out as it was still moving.
Ali and Mohammed were caught after a brief chase while police found a tracksuit top and balaclava which had been discarded by Wells.
In his clothing they discovered a letter which was addressed to Wells’ parents home and also found his saliva on the balaclava.
Talbir Singh, for Ali, said the offence had been committed in broad daylight and the robbers’ car had been traced very easily.
“These two features of this case demonstrate that the thought process going into the planning was not highly sophisticated,” Mr Singh said.”
Cash in Transit Robbery Example
Here is a neat robbery of a cash in transit van heist. A gang of masked bank robbers were being hunted by police following an attack on a cash delivery man (four people have since been arrested – see below).
Four men wearing balaclavas struck as a G4S van arrived outside a bank in Acomb, York UK, at about 9.45am Thursday October 11 2012. It is a small branch in a residential area with a handful of shops/businesses nearby. An easy target.
They assaulted the driver as he tried to deliver cash to the local HSBC branch in York Road and then fled from the scene in a black Vauxhall Zafira. The car was abandoned a mile away at the junction with Celtic Close and Jorvic Close near Beckfield Lane a short time later and set on fire. The cash box was found dumped en-route in Carr Lane.
A woman who witnessed the attack said: “I was just coming home from shopping at Tesco and had just got out of the car when I heard shouts from behind me, someone shouting “get down, get down” very loudly.
“I turned round and saw the security guard on the floor at this point.
“There were four youths jumping into a black car. The four were all dressed in black with black masks. The car sped off – it all happened in seconds.
“I ran straight into the house to call the police and before I came off the phone the police had arrived on the scene.”
Another witness said: “There was a group of about four men beating down the security guard and they came running out with a box of money, got in a black car and sped away through Acomb. But I didn’t see any faces because they were covered.”
The van driver was reported to be shocked but uninjured and no weapons were used in the incident.
Police were appealing to anyone who witnessed the incident, saw the black Zafira travelling between York Road and Beckfield Lane or anyone running away from the vehicle to contact them as soon as possible.
This robbery shows the importance of speed, as the police arrived very fast. Dumping and torching the car within 5 minutes was essential, as was the wearing of masks. The junction of the two Closes is blocked by bollards, so it is possible a second getaway car was waiting in the other Close to continue the escape safely.
Police investigating the robbery outside the HSBC bank in Acomb, York on Thursday 11 October 2012 arrested four people in connection with the investigation.
They were a 22-year-old man and a 35-year-old woman, both from Wallasey in Merseyside who were arrested in Merseyside on Thursday 11 October. Two men from York, aged 23 and 24 were arrested on Saturday 13 October 2012.
All four were released on police bail while the investigation continued.
Opening Cash Boxes and Removing Stains from Stolen Cash; an example of another CIT robbery:
A recent example of an unsuccessful CIT robbery is given below:
A gang of armed robbers recruited two teenage girls to clean £38,000 in stolen cash using nail varnish and bleach. Nakitta Morrison and Holly Davidson, both 19 (and pictured below), were called in to help when an exploding dye pack threatened to spoil a loot of stolen bank notes, Liverpool Crown Court heard. The flatmates became involved with the group known for targeting security guards delivering cash after Miss Davidson ‘fell for’ their leader, Big Marlon Benjamin.
Police recovered £15,340 in £20 notes from the girls’ Liverpool home, along with a power saw that had been used to break into the box containing the stolen money. A bin bag full of discarded cash was found elsewhere in the building as well as empty bottles of bleach and a dye-stained t-shirt.
The court heard how the girls purchased nail polish remover, bleach and Lucozade from a local convenience store to help the criminals who robbed a G4S driver at a Shell petrol station in Upton. Members of the violent gang beat the driver with a crowbar after leaping out from behind a hedge, forcing him to surrender the cash.
But, an exploding dye pack that bursts if the box is forced open stained the bank notes, prompting the gang to enlist the girls’ help. Each was given a 16-month prison sentence suspended by Judge David Aubrey QC yesterday November 25 2013 after pleading guilty to handling stolen goods, and will be subject to curfews for the next four months.
Miss Davidson was ordered to take part in a women’s turnaround programme for female offenders while Miss Morrison was ordered to take part in a drug rehabilitation scheme.
Gang leader Benjamin was jailed for 13 years and six months at an earlier hearing for theft, robbery, attempted robbery and conspiracy to rob. Five other men received prison sentences for offences relating to robbery, theft, handling stolen goods and forging registration plates.
The same judge told the men: ‘All these victims are probably scarred for life. All probably are now looking behind them when they hear footsteps. The anxiety and fear you caused to them cannot in my judgement be overestimated. It is quite apparent from your attitude and demeanour in the dock you care not. Some of you have embarked on a campaign of terror. These offences were well planned and committed as a group.’
Detective Inspector Tom Keaton of Merseyside Police said: ‘The group targeted security guards transporting money and ran a highly sophisticated operation, from the point of preparation, right through to the execution of the robbery and the cleaning of the money, everything had been thought of. I hope the sentencing of these individuals sends out a strong message that this force is committed to taking people involved in serious and organised crime off our streets and we will use all available resources to tackle them and put them behind bars.’