Magazine Best Of 2005 Robbery Armenian Style

22 December 2005, 16:15
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Robbery Armenian Style

On August 5, 1977 an astonishingly impudent robbery took place in Yerevan. For the first time in the Ussr, thieves targeted the holy of holies – the State Bank. It is not that there no talented criminals in the Soviet Union, but even "professional thieves" had a profound conviction that banks were simply not robbed in the USSR. Then, all of a sudden, some people "took the chance".

There were only two of them – the cousins Kalashyan. Nikolay developed the plan own his own, taking care of even the smallest detail. Felix took on the unassailable fort by himself – from the beginning to the end. However, at the beginning, there was naturally somebody who provided the tipoff.
– Bank.
Everyone burst out laughing as if ordered to. Only Zaven, the tipster, did not change his face.
– None of you knows what a psychological barrier is and you would die without knowing it, but for me. For some reason everyone is sure that you cannot take a bank.
– "To take" means to attack and to seize it. However, I work by completely different principles. To take a bank, to organize an armed robbery – this is not for me. After all this is a bank! This is not a savings office. There are safes, alarms and finally security.
– It's all correct. The walls of the safe rooms are armored. You can't touch the doors, but... the ceiling is easy – a simple concrete slab. One could use a simple drill to put a hole in it, perhaps even a nail. This is your method; simply imagine that the wall is not vertical, but horizontal.
– I can't figure it out. Do you mean the money is not kept in the basement?
– That's the case, it is not. The safe room is located on the second floor and the lounge is on the third… If we are successful with this operation, then 40,000 is mine.
– No operation, – Nikolay intervened, – forget about it.
– But all the same I suggest that you think about my proposal, – insisted Zaven.
– I have already thought – forget about it. If you repeat it again – you have only yourself to blame.
However, it was "forgotten" only in words. Every day Nikolay would come to the street outside the bank with a note pad and pencil. For hours, he followed the movements of the external security; when and where the money collection vehicles come; when the last bank clerk leaves the building and when the internal screen door is sealed... Soon Nikolay was convinced that there was no internal security. "Maybe it is right," – he judged, – "what would an internal security guard do when everything is closed and covered by alarms? You get inside only through the external entrances. Through the roof it is impossible. So there is the most incredible possibility – the wall. But the walls are secure – two of the walls are facing the street and the third looks out to the yard. But what about the fourth wall? There is a residential house sharing a wall with the bank, which means there will be two walls to get through. But the most important thing is that we have a place to approach it from. Once you have made a hole in both of the walls – you are exactly in the corridor on the third floor of the bank. This is the floor where the lounge is located..."
Thus, in this way they identified the place where Felix first had to break through the partition in the attic and then through the principal wall on the third floor of the bank. The time – August 5, a Friday evening so as to have two days in hand – just in case. Then Nikolay passed to Felix the list of items that he had to get for the operation – a folding crowbar, a crowbar that could be folded three times and with a diameter of three centimeters. Half a dozen drills of 10–11 millimeters in diameter with diamond tip heads; a flashlight; gloves; a brace; a hacksaw; several blades for the hacksaw, a chisel, a hammer and a child's umbrella... Most of all Felix was surprised by this child's umbrella.

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