Criminal Group Commits $30 Million Heist Over Easter Weekend

( — While theft is nearly universally condemned by anyone who values a rational civilization, somehow a big heist always manages to capture the public’s imagination. Perhaps this is because the victims in these cases always seem like enormous, faceless organizations, or because for so many people, it seems like a daring way to create your own windfall.

In the early morning hours of Easter Sunday, March 31, officers for the Los Angeles Police Department got their first call about a possible break-in at the Gardaworld building in Sylmar, along with an alarming surveillance photo of what looked like a hastily erected plywood blockade covering damage to the building.

Sylmar is a densely populated suburb of Las Angeles, and Gardaworld is a Canadian private security firm. Gardaworld stored cash for businesses from all over the region in their Sylmar facility. The burglars are believed to have entered the building from the roof. Currently, it is unknown how they accessed the safe with the cash without setting off any alarms, but they are believed to have taken about $30 million in cash. In $100 bills, such a haul would weigh roughly 660 pounds, but if the take were in smaller bills or mixed denominations, the take could have weighed as much as 7,500 pounds.

Previous heists like this have involved multi-person teams, often with insider help from former employees. Former police detective Randy Sutton speculates that the LAPD are already conducting interviews of all Gardawold employees, both past and present. He added that much of the cash stored at the facility would have already been in circulation, so tracing the bills may prove nearly impossible. Sutton commented that a burglary like this would have taken a lot of research and technical knowledge, suggesting an experienced team who will probably already have a plan in place for laundering the stolen cash.

Harvard-educated lawyer and co-author of “Flawless,” a book about the Antwerp Diamond Heist, Scott Selby, believes there is a possibility the case may go unsolved, comparing it to the 1972 United Bank robbery in Laguna Niguel, California. Those burglars also went in through the roof, didn’t set off the alarms, and fled with about $9 million in cash and valuables. They were caught by a tiny mistake they made in leaving fingerprints at their safehouse. Selby says that unless the thieves in this case make a similar mistake, they may manage to get away with their Easter heist.

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