Argentina bank heist echoes Woody Allen films and Sherlock Holmes tales
In the Argentina bank heist over the weekend, a band of thieves tunneled through a 100-foot-hole into a neighboring bank and stole the contents of more than 100 safety deposit boxes.
Here's the plot: Thieves rent a building, dig a hole from their basement into a neighboring bank's security vault, and quietly break in and make off with the goods.Skip to next paragraph
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Is it Hollywood or real life? Both, actually. On New Year's Eve in Argentina's capital, a band of thieves tunneled through a 100-foot-hole into a neighboring bank and stole the contents of up to 140 safety deposit boxes. Nobody was harmed.
The spectacular robbery seems to come straight out of Arthur Conan Doyle's short story "The Red-Headed League," about thieves attempting to tunnel into a pawnbroker's basement, or Woody Allen's comedy film "Small Time Crooks," about a bumbling group of would-be robbers who open a cookie shop as a ruse for digging from their basement into a nearby bank vault.
"It has the feeling of a Pierce Brosnan film," says Ulrich Boser, a senior fellow at the Center of American Progress think tank in Washington, referencing the 1999 film "The Thomas Crown Affair" starring the British actor as art thief.
Indeed, robbers have likely been inspired by film and fiction in the past, says Phillips Gay, president of National Association for Bank Security, which runs seminars and provides educational materials on bank security to 32 state banking associations. He says the 1991 action film "Point Break," starring Keanu Reaves and Patrick Swayze, is "thought to have inspired quite a few robbers. There may be others."