Outfit Money: The Burglary Business

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Re: Outfit Money: The Burglary Business

Post by Villain » Tue Jan 17, 2017 8:53 am

Slowly time passed by and after 9 years the notorious duo, both in their mid 50’s, was released from prison and they returned to Chicago, never to be seen in England, ever again. Home at last, but things were quite changed, meaning the long time Outfit leader Tony Accardo was no longer among the living, many other top guys such as Gus Alex were recently sent to jail and the syndicate’s hierarchy was completely changed, which by now allegedly was led by one former burglar and individual from one of the previous stories, known as John DiFronzo. Story goes that during the 1990’s, the Chicago Outfit was no longer taxing the burglars on everything they stole, meaning only on the big jobs, so this meant that the lower level associates sometimes had the chance to take care for themselves. As for the two “fresh-out of prison” burglars, one of them took a different path in his life, at least for a while, and the other, well he sticked to the old ways and top of that, he even “improved” his criminal activities. Story goes that after his prison term in Europe, Rachel has taken a softer life style by spending most of his days alone, reading books, painting, and from time to time, he would go out and hang out with some of remaining old criminals. But old man Scalise, he continued with his criminal activities, mostly because he belonged to the Outfit. So now, besides burglaries, he was also involved in the selling of narcotics. In 1998, Scalise was arrested and later pleaded guilty to intent to distribute cocaine and for that crime he served six and a half years and got out of prison in 2006, at the age of 69.


Even though he spent all of his life time as a high profile criminal, still Scalise did not have any extra cash on the side, or in other words, he was always broke. The same story goes for his old partner in crime Rachel, who by now did not manage to “survive” the ordinary and everyday lifestyle but instead he decided to join his old buddy in new criminal ventures. As you can see, both of them were in their late 60’s and they were not getting any younger, but still their criminal blood boiled like never before. Many of the criminals at their age, who survived the 1970’s and 80’s, at least had 20 or 30 thousands of dollars hidden somewhere in case of “rainy days”, but not these guys. These fellas were pure criminals who planned to live like that for the rest of their lives and all of the money they made through the years mostly went to their poor families or to the individuals they were in debt to. The thing was that they obviously lived for the moment of breaking and entering and getting away with something precious. According to Scalise, he once said that “You feel like a king when you’re involved in a robbery, there’s no high like it. The whole thing is like a thrill. You want it again and again.” So to make things even more interesting, Scalise brought another “friend of his” into the “gang” known as Robert Pullia. Now this guy was another old timer who spent all of his life time as a criminal, by constantly going in and out of prison. He was arrested more than 20 times for offences such as assault, invasion of private property, burglary, narcotics and even murder. For example, back in the 1960’s, Pullia served one year in jail for burglary and almost 20 years later, in 1986 he was convicted for possession of a large quantity of cocaine and was sentenced to 10 years incarceration. In few simple words, Pullia was the same “lowlife” as Scalise and Rachel. So now, the three s-called geriatric criminals were back with another criminal plan and this time, the main point was, after the job was done, to walk free.


At the beginning of 2007, the newly formed crime trio conducted extensive surveillance over the Harris Bank branch, which was located in La Grange, Illinois. They carefully learned the time periods on when the cash was brought in or taken out of the bank by United Armour Truck Services and they always looked at the form of bags in which the cash was placed in. For example, if one of the guards carried the bag only with one hand, this meant that the bag was too light, meaning there was small amount of cash in it. But if the guard carried the bag with two hands or the bag was placed on a dollie, well obviously this meant that the bag was quite full with money. They even counted the number of customers who went in and out of the bank on daily basis. According to Scalise himself “You never know when the guy is going to come out with the big bag. You know, he could come here next week and comes with the wheeler, you gotta go, if everything’s right.” Also, few months before the robbery, the “boys” managed to steal a so-called “working-van”, which was specially modified by adding a gun port. The gun port permitted them to shoot out of the van if some armed guards or law enforcement officials approach them or attempt to apprehend them. The main plan was for Pullia and Rachel to enter the bank and for Scalise to act as the getaway driver. This wasn’t some coincidence but instead it was on purpose since Scalise had one deformed hand which can be very easily identified. So this is just another proof of what I talked about at the beginning of the whole story, regarding the three types of burglars, well these fellas belonged to the group of professionals. Once again, the stage was set.


On July 5, 2007, about 10 a.m., the criminal trio sat in their grey van and watched the Harris Bank branch, located in La Grange, Illinois. Suddenly, Scalise started up the engine and drove off right in front of the bank’s entrance. Then, Rachel and Pullia got out of the van, with plastic masks over their faces and revolvers in their hands and as they entered the building, they ordered everyone inside the bank to get down on the floor. Scalise placed himself in the center of the lobby and with the help of his gun, he controlled all of the employees and costumers, while Pullia used one the plastic containers as a stepping stool to climb over the teller counter and went directly to the back area of the bank where he picked up two plastic bags filled with cash, which in turn waited to be picked up by the United Armour Services between 11a.m. and 12 a.m. Once he had the cash in his hands, Pullia quickly threw the bags over the teller counter, climbed back over to the side of the lobby, placed the two bags in the plastic container, picked it up and fled the scene altogether with Scalise. Outside they were greeted by Scalise, who in turn drove off like a driving maniac. As a result of this carefully planned robbery, in just few minutes the “boys” managed to getaway with $119,000.


At first the investigators were obviously unaware on who might’ve been responsible for the robbery but later, after they watched the surveillance tapes from the bank and also found the abandoned working-van, they came to few conclusions. For example, the tapes from the robbery clearly showed that one of the robbers wore a distinctive watch on his wrist, with large face, as well as a dark band. Later, after viewing some previous photos, the investigators came to conclusion that the same type of watch belonged to Rachel. Also, the physical approximate height and weight descriptions which were provided by eye witnesses and camera recordings, matched the approximate physical appearance of Rachel and Pullia. And on top of that, from the working-van, which was later recovered by the police, DNA samples were taken from the steering wheel and gear shift area and it was later determined that it matched to Scalise. So from this point on, the feds were quite positive on who was responsible for the robbery but this time they decided to play smart.


At first the feds did not arrest the three suspects, but instead they’ve decided to place them under intensive surveillance methods, such as wire tapping their phones and above all, wire tapping their everyday cargo van, and just wait for the right moment for the “boys” to slip. The point of all of this was for Scalise and company to think that they got away unnoticed by the feds and also let them have the illusion of being forgotten by the government. The feds managed to hear all kinds of stuff, from how to kill someone, to some of their future criminal plans. For example, Scalise one said “You want to flatten [kill] someone, put on a black sweatshirt with the hood up and baggy pants and blast. Then run out the block and have your work car. They'll think it's a kid because they all run. Put on a black sweatshirt with the hood up and baggy pants and blast. Then run up the block. They’ll think it’s a kid.” Then the elderly men then shifted the conversation to possible plans for robbing warehouses filled with illegal marijuana. According to Scalise, there was this dish guy, who was in the “grass business”, and that this man has visited with Scalise and told him about some Mexicans who were bringing in big loads of marijuana. But during the conversation, Scalise laughed and said that he did not want to help the man locate a so-called “marijuana warehouse”. Later, Scalise explained to his two companions in the van “You know what, we gotta stick to our own racket. ‘Cause we don’t have too much competition. That’s right, nobody’s doing nothin’. They never did, they never did this stuff anyway. That’s what I say, you go around the corner, guy’s jump out. They’re fucked. Yeah, they’re looking for kids like this, with their hoods on.” And after awhile the “not getting them arrested” tactic which was made by the feds really worked because Scalise truly believed that he and the gang got away with it by claming that “There’s no coppers that know us today. . . what we do they don’t know” and as we can see, Scalise highly underestimated the abilities of the federal government.


After listening for more than few days, the feds managed to hit the so-called “jackpot”. After awhile, Scalise and the boys started talking about a bank heist in the LaGrange area and their intentions of robbing it. Their planned target was the First National Bank of LaGrange and the trio immediately started their surveillance techniques over the bank, while being followed by the feds. From approximately December, 2009, until April, 2010, federal agents observed the trio on at least 10 occasions conducting their regular Thursday morning surveillances of the armoured car picking up bulk cash from the bank. The feds listened to their intentions to use three loaded pistols, including a Mac 11, three black ski masks, mace and goggles, as well as stolen “switch vehicles”. Usually during surveillances of potential targets, the criminals use their private cars, but at the day of the planned crime, they use so-called “work” or “switch” cars, which in most cases are in fact stolen and were stored in rented garages. During their drive the three men, among other things, also discussed the use of scanners to intercept law enforcement communications.


But during the recording of their conversations, the feds stumbled upon another more controversial subject or a bizarre twist, on which the boys planned to execute in near future. The conversation started between Scalise and Pullia and was mostly regarding the recent seizure of huge amounts of cash, jewellery and firearms at the residence of Chicago Outfit big shot Frank Calabrese Sr. They also talked about some previous cases in which some of deceased crime bosses, such as Tony Accardo and Joe Ferriola, had safes in their residences because they did not trust banks. In the end, Scalise mentioned deceased crime boss known as Angelo LaPietra, who built his own house and allegedly had a safe somewhere in it, and that’s when the feds realized that the boys were planning to rob the house of the late Outfit “capo”. In fact, Scalise unknowingly explained to the feds the whole plan. Here’s what he said: “From day one, the upstairs windows. 'Cause I remember when he (LaPietra) built that house. The upstairs windows have never been opened. If you can get up there, it will not be alarmed. Art (Rachel) checked out Maggie's (LaPietra’s wife) daughter's house, and there are no alarms on the second floor.” Then Pullia added: “She spots you over there, fuck 'em. She, she walks in while we are there we will grab it, fuck it, because we'll be masked up anyways. Fuck her. Put the arm on her and walk her back, any alarm goes off we will kill ya.” During the conversation, Scalise also showed a small dosage of personal hatred against the late LaPietra by stating: “He was a miserable person…who after his release from prison would sit in a chair in a corner and stare at people. Every little thing made him nuts.” So in plain words, they hoped to find a secret stash of jewels and valuables at the residence, which were allegedly stashed by the late LaPietra who died back in 1999, and if they were caught by his daughter, their plan was to scare and threaten her at the same time or maybe even kill her. And so instead of chasing them for planning a bank robbery, the feds immediately changed their plans.


On April 5, 2010, somewhere around the morning hours Scalise met with another “friend of his” from the Outfit known as James Inendino a.k.a. “Jimmy I” and Scalise asked his buddy to find out on who was usually house sitting at the LaPietra residence. Later, Inendino talked to the some people and received information that there was nobody there however in the end Scalise agreed that “there’s gotta be somebody there.” On April 8, 2010, at approximately 8:00 p.m., the trio appeared near the LaPietra residence and engaged in what was believed to be a counter-surveillance driving, like rounding the residence etc. They were equipped with almost everything. For example, Scalise had a flashlight and black gloves and was wearing a black baseball cap, a black windbreaker, a black fishing vest with pockets, and a bandana, which he could pull up around his mouth or around his neck. Pullia and Rachel both were wearing black pants, black shirts, black knit hats, and black gloves. In their van they had a police scanner, which was constantly playing police transmission and they also had some glass cleaner, as well as three battery-powered drills, various other tools, saw blades, a six foot ladder, one large tool bag, three small tool bags, black tape, flashlights, various sets of black gloves, a cellular telephone, and a tool box. Again, the stage was set.


Scalise was behind the wheel and he parked the van on the south side of the house and they all just watched. Scalise said that he could see right in and that the blinds were open on one of the windows. So Scalise and Pullia quickly got out and went straight to the window which was located on the southwestern corner of the residence and started drilling holes so they could take down the whole window and easily enter. As for Rachel, he stayed in the van and acted as a lookout. As the burglars worked on their “task”, suddenly dozens of FBI agents and police patrol cars appeared out of nowhere and quickly arrested them. In a matter of few seconds, Scalise has realized that he has been followed and bugged by the feds all this time but obviously it was too late. When another group of federal agents arrested Rachel while sitting in the van, he tried to act like he did not know what was going on. He said: “What is this all about?” and one of the agents replied “It’s about the house over there”, while pointing with his finger in direction of the LaPietra residence. The trio was quickly taken into custody and the day was saved, thanks to the feds.


Image

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LaPietra’s residence


Now I know at first the whole situation sounds funny, meaning the feds spending quite a lot of time and money for three old gangsters who planned a bank robbery and home invasion, while other gangs ran wild all across the city. But the reality was that these old fellas were equally dangerous as any other young and violent “gang banger”. During the electronic surveillance, the feds heard plans about possible murders of informants and methods of disposing the body and also, dealings in narcotics. So my point is that the looks, age and behaviour did not make any difference. In the end, all three suspects were convicted and sentenced to 9 years in prison, which was sort of a life sentence, given their age. They nonetheless remained closemouthed about everything they stole or were involved in, because according to Scalise’s long time defence lawyer Edward Genson “They’re old school, the last of a dying breed. It’s just the way they are.” Even though most of their lives they spent in prison, both Scalise and Rachel managed to survive the bloody era of the 1970’s, the government’s hunt during the 1980’s and early 90’s, and again they missed the whole Family Secrets trial during the 2000’s. Under a lot of pressure, they never opened their mouths and remained loyal but don’t get fooled by their so-called honour. They were one rare example, compared to some of the previous examples, but the problem was that they weren’t some conservative thieves but instead they didn’t know when to stop.


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From left to right: Pullia, Scalise and Rachel


In reality, there’s no honour among thieves and it’s been like that forever. Sometimes they lie to each other, sometimes they steal from each other, and if things get too hot, sometimes they even kill each other, just to save their own skin. In plane words, forget the honour. So now I’m going to remind you regarding the first quote at beginning of this whole story, which is taken from a wiretapped conversation between one of the syndicate’s smartest individuals known as Murray Humphreys and one other Outfit individual, and in it we can see Humphrey’s dislike and disrespect towards the thieves. During the conversation, he even makes a distinction between members of the Outfit and Chicago’s brotherhood of thieves. According to Humphreys, his cohorts within Chicago’s crime syndicate were different, meaning they had more loyalty and respect, rather than the thieves and robbers which they cooperated with on daily basis. And to tell you the truth, Humphrey’s might’ve been right since many of the informants were mostly burglars, robbers and all kinds of thieves. But deep inside I personally admire the thieves on one thing and that is their confidence and courage, or in one word, their boldness, and also using the style of “the most conspicuous is the least obvious”.


Today, the activity of burglarizing or robbing is on a lower level but it’s certainly far from finished. It’s a “racket” which will never go away, meaning it will be always present for the world’s wrongdoers. If ever a town’s mystique was founded on cops and robbers, it is Chicago. As we can see, in the past there were more examples of high profile jewel heists or stealing expensive art, and even crazy examples of burglarizing the homes of Mafia bosses. It was a time when master thieves, who were the best in the business, lurked the streets of Chicago and mingled with big time crime lords. It is not a coincidence that during the 1970’s and 80’s, many film studios made movies about thieves with funky music in the background, thus creating a glorious image, and also it was not a coincidence that guys like Bill Hanhardt and Jerry Scalise, all were taken in some of the most famous crime movies as technical advisors, such as “Thief” and “Public Enemies”. The old movie scenes, with the “heart-warming” sight of an old-fashioned burglar penetrating a bank vault or few robbers with masks and machineguns entering a bank, are slowly swept away by a rising tide of movies about boring online and computer frauds.

The End
Free will,it is a bitch!

AlexfromSouth
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Re: Outfit Money: The Burglary Business

Post by AlexfromSouth » Fri Jan 20, 2017 9:18 am

That is realy good work Villain buddy. Better than any article or book I have ever read on the matter.

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Villain
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Re: Outfit Money: The Burglary Business

Post by Villain » Sat Jan 21, 2017 11:39 pm

AlexfromSouth wrote:That is realy good work Villain buddy. Better than any article or book I have ever read on the matter.
Thanks a lot Alex, those words means a lot. Cheers buddy
Free will,it is a bitch!

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FriendofHenry
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Re: Outfit Money: The Burglary Business

Post by FriendofHenry » Fri Feb 17, 2017 4:51 pm

I guess if it wasn't a Big City bugler that it just doesn't count :(
How He Stole Nixon's 'Dirty' Millions | America's North Shore...
northshorejournal.org/how-he-stole-nixons-dirty-millions
"Never walk in a room unless you know your way out" - Henry Zottola

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JCB1977
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Re: Outfit Money: The Burglary Business

Post by JCB1977 » Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:14 am

FriendofHenry wrote:
Fri Feb 17, 2017 4:51 pm
I guess if it wasn't a Big City bugler that it just doesn't count :(
How He Stole Nixon's 'Dirty' Millions | America's North Shore...
northshorejournal.org/how-he-stole-nixons-dirty-millions
The FBI classified the DInsio Brothers as the most skilled bank burglars in the country.
JCB19777 AND THE REST OF YOU CAN ALL GO AND FUCK YOURSELF!

--jayboy

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Villain
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Re: Outfit Money: The Burglary Business

Post by Villain » Fri Feb 24, 2017 7:20 pm

Thanks for additional info guys, I really appreaciate it since the two of you know your stuff 8-)

As I previously stated that my first article was regarding the Outfit's "greatest heists" but later i made up my mind and made one big story regarding the whole burglary "saga". So my point is that my current article is mostly about the Outfit's "roots", meaning the one and only criminal activity from which almost every organized crime member started his career with. And even though it was only a "jump-start" for the careers of a lot of the Outfit's top members, still they continued to support the same racket for many years and they had a network which spread all around the country.
Free will,it is a bitch!

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Re: Outfit Money: The Burglary Business

Post by FriendofHenry » Sat Feb 25, 2017 6:54 am

Fair enough and thanx. No explanation needed but certainly appreciated. Amil and his family were really good :)
"Never walk in a room unless you know your way out" - Henry Zottola

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