March 11: The first armored car heist went off on this date in 1927

Justin Hyde

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Paul Jaworski was a pioneer of crime. In the early '20s, the Cleveland-raised gangster and his Detorit crew known as the Flathead Gang made a number of daring robberies — none more so than the first heist of an armored car. On this date in 1927, Jaworski and associates planted explosives beneath a road near Bethel Park, Penn. When an armored car carrying cash for a coal company rolled past, the gang trigged the explosives — enough to send the armored truck hurtling through the air and onto its top, and creating a crater large enough to swallow the patrol car close behind. Jaworksi's crew made off with $104,000 from the heist, which surprisingly killed no one — but the gang was soon apprehended, including Jaworski, who was executed in Pennsylvania in 1929 for other murders. After the Flathead Gang heist, armored truck builders soon switched from using wood floors in their vehicles to metal.

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