Phil Cresta was no run-of-the-mill thief. Mastermind of the legendary Brink's armored truck robbery and a string of countless other high-stakes heists, he stole more than ten million dollars in escapades that often were breathtakingly daring and at times marvelously inventive. The robberies baffled both police and fellow outlaws for decades, and most of the crimes remain unsolved today. Now the open case files of these memorable thefts can be closed as Cresta himself provides the true story on how they were planned and carried out.
Born in Boston's North End in 1928, Cresta was raised in an abusive household. He was sent to Concord Reformatory as a teenager, where he learned the craft of picking locks, a skill later honed during stays at the Charlestown and Walpole prisons in Massachusetts. Following the Brinks robbery in 1968, he was put on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List, but eluded the law for five years, living in Chicago under an assumed name. After serving time at Walpole for the Brinks job, Cresta died penniless in Chicago in 1995. Yet shortly before his death, he revealed the full extent of his astonishing capers to coauthor Bill Crowley, a retired Boston police detective.
Drawing from their extensive conversations, this riveting page-turner chronicles how Cresta, along with partners "Angelo" and "Tony," pulled off robberies of jewelers, rare coin dealers, furriers, and armored trucks, detailing the meticulous planning that marked his criminal career. Cresta's final accounting is brimming with vivid tales of betrayal, murder, and intrigue as well as a colorful cast of characters, including mob bosses, wise guys, informants, paid "ears," corrupt judges, a Hollywood starlet, and even the Mayor of Chicago.
Filled with drama, tension, and humor, this absorbing saga takes the reader inside the dangerous yet exhilarating world of a life dedicated to crime.
About Brian P. Wallace
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Published October 27, 2000
by Northeastern University Press.
Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Law & Philosophy.