An infamous heist revisited: how the crew got caught

Hello and welcome to Essential California bulletin. It’s Wednesday, January 5. My name is Justin Ray.

This is the third story in a series about the theft of Dunbar Armored 25 years ago. Here are the first and second installments.

The men behind the flight did not slip. They keep a low profile and avoid purchases that may raise suspicion.

Millions have been used to buy cars and houses. To elaborate on the latter, they used straw buyers to acquire at least 10 homes in foreclosed property public auctions. Some houses were rented while others were occupied by the families of the suspects.

A few hundred thousand dollars have been spent gambling in Las Vegas.

IRS agents would later trace around $ 2 million to a company set up by a man named Eugene Lamar Hill Jr., of Bellflower, and Thomas Lee Johnson, of Las Vegas, to launder the stolen money. Under the name Rain Forest, most of the money was used to purchase an incinerator that would have burned garbage without causing air pollution, and paid himself a salary totaling over $ 100,000.

Despite the daring theft, what ended up solving it wasn’t so exciting: An informant identified Hill as the person who rented a 14ft U-Haul truck a day before the heist and returned it one day. later. It didn’t help that when Hill was later arrested he had a stack of banknotes with the same wrappers of money they took on Dunbar’s robbery. Hill confessed and pointed authorities at the other suspects.

Each of the men has been charged with conspiracy to commit theft, using a firearm in a violent crime and obstructing interstate commerce. Johnson faced 24 other money laundering charges.

A row of Dunbar armored trucks in August 2017.

(TRIPPLAAR KRISTOFFER / SIPA / Sipa USA via AP)

During the trial, Pace testified in his own defense, claiming he was trapped by another defendant “because I was making fun of his wife”. Because, after all, a womanizer is not necessarily a thief.

The father of one of the men testified against his son. Erik Damon Boyd, of Buena Park, did not speak himself, but his father, Steve, said his son told him to launder about $ 177,000 in cash from drug trafficking, but her son later admitted it was from the Dunbar Armored depot. .

In my closing article, I reveal what happened to Allen Pace III, and the only lingering mystery about the crime. I will see you tomorrow!

And now, here’s what’s happening in California:

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THE STORIES

Most Affordable on The Times’ 101 Best Restaurants in LA List We recently unveiled our selections of the best restaurants in Los Angeles. Well, we’ve followed that up with an abbreviated list of the cheapest restaurants on our compilation. Los Angeles Times

Katsu Sando pork from Katsu Sando from Chinatown.

Katsu Sando pork from Katsu Sando from Chinatown.

(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

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POLICY AND GOVERNMENT

The Congressional Black Caucus said on Tuesday it was appointing an assistant to Vice President Kamala Harris as its new executive director. Vince Evans returns to Capitol Hill after nearly a year in the vice president’s office as Harris’ deputy director for public engagement and intergovernmental affairs. Evans is one of a series of staff departures from Harris’s office in recent months as she faces the high expectations and scrutiny that come with being vice president. Los Angeles Times

CRIME, COURTS AND POLICE

A $ 25 million verdict in a wrongful death lawsuit should raise awareness among drivers about sharing the road safely with cyclists, according to a lawyer in the civil case. A judge ordered the grand prize for the mother of cyclist Cristobal “Cris” Heitmann Montero of Redding. He was killed in a head-on collision with a motorcyclist. Richard Machado, then 28, of Cottonwood, was riding west on a 2001 Honda motorcycle in 2018 when he crossed the double yellow line on Heitmann Road, according to an accident report. In his criminal case, Machado made an indisputable plea in June 2020 to the offense of manslaughter in vehicle and driving without a valid motorcycle license. “This case, hopefully, really sends the message that the lives of cyclists matter and the lives of cyclists are valuable, and it’s really dangerous on the road,” said attorney Kyle Smith of the firm of Coopers LLP lawyers. Redding recording projector

For over a minute, a San Ramon police dog named Dexter gripped the arm of Egyptian immigrant and Uber driver Ali Badr. By this time, captured on dashboard and body camera footage obtained by the San Francisco Chronicle, Badr was disarmed, barefoot, and not resisting. He suffered permanent and painful injuries during the incident. Badr was treated as a potential car thief that day in December 2020. The videos are evidence in a federal lawsuit Badr filed against the city of San Ramon last month. Police Chief Craig Stevens said in an email his department had conducted an internal investigation into Badr’s arrest, but declined to answer further questions. Chronicle of San Francisco

HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENT

Kelly Ernby, a political newcomer who ran for a seat in the Orange County State Assembly two years ago as a Republican, died this week from COVID-19. Los Angeles Times

The number of coronavirus-positive patients has increased dramatically in Southern California since Christmas – but some health officials note significant differences in how the latest wave is unfolding in hospitals compared to the devastating wave of l last winter. In Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura counties, the number of coronavirus-positive patients has more than doubled in the past nine days. And in Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties, the daily hospital census has passed the peak seen during last summer’s peak. “The difference we’re seeing this year is largely due to the fact that we have more people who have been vaccinated and boosted,” the Department of Health Services wrote in a statement to The Times. Los Angeles Times

THE CULTURE OF CALIFORNIA

A Marine lieutenant colonel and sergeant will face disciplinary hearings this week, charged with failures that resulted in the deaths of eight Marines and a sailor off the coast of San Diego. Lt. Col. Michael Regner, the former commander of the 1/4 Battalion landing team, will face a commission of inquiry into the matter from this week. Separately, the anonymous former platoon sergeant of the Bravo Company platoon involved in the sinking will face an administrative separation board. On July 30, 2020, Marines training with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit departed the Coronado Amphibious Transport Ship in vehicles for training on San Clemente Island. The vehicles had mechanical problems on the spot, including the one that sank. A Marine Corps investigation found that Regner should have known that his unit’s amphibious assault vehicles were in poor condition and should not have operated in the ocean. San Diego Union-Tribune

The university duo encourage the public to embrace mutual aid. Manuel Pastor and Chris Benner are both professors and public policy experts. In their recently published co-authored book, “Solidarity Economics: Why Mutuality and Movements Matter,” they provide a framework for understanding why an economy based on solidarity rather than competition can benefit the vast majority. The book can be downloaded for free here. Capital & Main spoke to the duo about the creation of the work, the concept of economic mutuality and how we can redefine our ideas about growth and GDP. Capital and principal

“I like the effect of being stoned”: Learn how to roll a joint like a rock star with LA roots. David Crosby talks to The Times’ Adam Tschorn about cannabis cultivation, music, social media, and getting high. Los Angeles Times

David crosby

David Crosby.

(Los Angeles Times)

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ALMANAC OF CALIFORNIA

Los Angeles: Sunny 48 San Diego: Sunny 64 San Francisco: Cloudy 56 San José: Cloudy 59 Fresno: Covered 53 Sacramento: Covered 56. Find out what the University of California at San Diego has.

AND FINALLY

today Californian memory is of Frank Sheffield:

At the age of nine, our family lived in front of a monstrous orange grove in Santa Ana. One day, I came home from school to find that most of the trees had been pulled up by the roots, some ripe fruit still attached. My friends and I gave up our usual hobbies – BB gun wars in irrigation ditches – for orange bomb attacks. I used a hacksaw to cut the missiles, so they splashed more in direct hits. Even at that age, I wondered how anyone could destroy all these fruits without warning the neighbors to make a good harvest.

If you have a memory or a story about the Golden State, share it with us. (Please limit your story to 100 words.)

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