Bank Robber Returns To Crime Scene - 60 Years Later!

Boyne Lester Johnston Source: CBC.ca It is said that criminals often return to the scene of the crime. Or, at least that’s what is said in movies, and probably doesn’t hold much weight in the real world. In the case of this popular Canadian bank robber, however, it happens to very much be the truth. Boyne Lester Johnston was a bank teller in 1958, and took it upon himself to walk out with over 200,000 Canadian dollars. Not an act that many would commend, only Johnston earned something of a reputation over the years, simply because of his wanted poster. The poster shows Johnston grinning from ear to ear, and the statement describes him as well dressed, liking champagne and enjoying the company of women. Apparently such a description will earn you fans, even if you are a convicted thief. Which is perhaps why the Riviera allowed him in, 60 years after the crime was committed. The Riviera was, of course, where the bank once stood that Johnston robbed. They even allowed him into the wine cellar, which is where piles of money once had a home. Perhaps the fact that he returned the money and served time for his crimes stood him in good stead, or perhaps it was the fact that he’s still dapper at 80 and remains partial to a glass of champagne! But Mr Johnston is perhaps the exception to the rule, as most of these other thieves would almost certainly not be welcomed with open arms. Or would they?

The Leprechaun Bandit

Most are happy trying to strike it rich in a much more honest and enjoyable way; by sitting comfortably at home playing online slots. Not Barry Cuff. He said no to spinning the reels, grabbed his gun and went out taking money by force. He snagged around $700,000 Canadian dollars over a 13 year crime spree, managing to avoid capture until 1997. That’s all there is to this story. Oh, you’re wondering why he was called the Leprechaun Bandit? Because it just so happens he dressed as a little green Irish gnome, or Leprechaun, when he committed the crimes. Apparently because he took the job very seriously, and thought it needed a uniform!

Professional Entrance

It has often been said that Canada is a relaxed place to live, and you need only see the above-mentioned Riviera letting a convicted robber onto the premises for proof of that notion. These robbers in Manitoba, however, were quick to take advantage of slack security. Between 2009 and 2010 they robbed a total of 9 establishments. How? By sawing holes in the rooftops and jumping in. Nobody had thought of the possibility, apparently, up until that exact moment. Imagine how startled everyone was when they realised their rooftops were made of wood, and offered virtually no security.

Billions And Billions

How much security would you assign to $10.6 million Canadian dollars? A great deal, right? Turns out not. In Canada one man in a truck will do, thank you very much. In 1976 a Canadian armoured truck driver was held up by 5 men who casually transferred the billions out of the truck over the course of 24 minutes. Not exactly in a rush then, were they?

Diamonds Are Forever

Another great thing about Canada, besides the slack security, is that thefts resemble far more what is featured in movies than anywhere else in the world. None of this guns, shooting and violence business, it’s all sneaking around, disabling security systems, dodging laser beams from hi-tech alarms and cracking safes. As is the case in the so-called Toronto Diamond Heist, where 5 million in diamonds was stolen while the distributor was on holiday. Imagine how red faced the guy was upon returning and finding the cast of an Oceans 11 film had broken in while he was away? Oh Canada, even your criminals are friendly and nice enough to wait until everyone is away on holiday, until they spend hours more effort breaking in, disabling security, and cracking safes!


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