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Using criminal and military skills together.

A thread on a popular Rangers forum about Johnny Ramensky (Pre-WW2 safe-blower, WW2 Commando and back to safe-blowing) opened up about how criminal skills can have positive use in military (especially wartime) and vice versa, including tales of robberies by serving Royal Marines that couldn't be proven.

Quite a few interesting tales


Have added a couple of the tales as some people can't access the link thread.

----—----------—-----

Not an uncommon path, some of the training given by the army or the more specialized forces lends itself beautifully to crime.

Have an old mate who i have sadly lost contact with over the years. A Marine who eventually was based at Poole before heading to the middle east.

Whilst in Poole at one point the Police were constantly round at the base as there was a string of robberies from large out of town supermarkets throughout the South and South East of England and the only people the Police could think of with the skill set was either lads in the forces or ex forces.

These thieves were going into the large utility area above the actual shop which had minimum security, setting themselves up on abseiling gear above the false ceiling on the cash rooms, doing surveillance on the cash rooms then dropping in when the take was high enough, filling carrier bags with cash then walking straight out the shop with what looked like big bags of shopping.

Baseball caps and sunglasses meant they couldn't be identified by cctv. No one ever hurt, just walking out with the cash nice and easy whilst everyone went about their daily shopping.

With no proof the Police were politely told to bolt.

No idea if that is actually true and it was Army / ex Army lads, a story 25 years old. But i have always kinda hoped it was.

--------------------------

My favourite story along these lines was on London East End criminal Eddie Chapman who was in jail in Jersey when the Germans invaded. The Abwehr, recruited him and parachuted him back into England, however he turned himself in and started working for M15 as a double agent. He was so successful that he was awarded the Iron Cross, principally for blowing up a Vickers factory where the damage was faked. An excellent film was made starring Christopher Plummer as Chapman and Yul Brynner as his German handler
 
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As Flashman notes, a good soldier needs to be clever, brave and unscrupulous.....so does a successful villain I guess.
 

theoriginalphantom

MIA
Book Reviewer
I would like to take this opportunity to state "I have an alibi"
"I found it like that"
"I don't recall the dates in question"
 
A thread on a popular Rangers forum about Johnny Ramensky (Pre-WW2 safe-blower, WW2 Commando and back to safe-blowing) opened up about how criminal skills can have positive use in military (especially wartime) and vice versa, including tales of robberies by serving Royal Marines that couldn't be proven.

Quite a few interesting tales


Can't view it unless you're a member and bollocks am I signing up to wendyball forum. Any chance of a bit of copypasta?
 
May I refer you to an episode of The Sweeney called " Red " .
Red is an ex para turned cat burglar .
The trainasium and other height confidence devices definitely came in handy , 'till he falls off a two story roof .....
 

Yokel

LE
Interesting topic. A lot of notorious criminals were unsuited to service - such as the Kray Twins. I believe General Sir John Hacket said something like "a bad person cannot be a good soldier".

Integrity and trust are important. It does not mean someone cannot change, but would you want to rely on habitual crooks?
 
Interesting topic. A lot of notorious criminals were unsuited to service - such as the Kray Twins. I believe General Sir John Hacket said something like "a bad person cannot be a good soldier".

Integrity and trust are important. It does not mean someone cannot change, but would you want to rely on habitual crooks?

Wellingtons army were a bunch of thieving bastards, they still gave the Frogs a good shoeing.

Unless you are nicking from your mates or stealing battle winning equipment, any thieving is unlikely to impact on the soldiering side of things.

Edited to add, a lot of criminals simply didnt want to be conscripted, if they thought it would benefit them they probably would have joined.
 

Chimp

ADC
Eddie Chapman is an absolute blinder of a villain... and hero. There was an excellent BBC2 Time Watch presented by McIntyre who also wrote a book on Chapman - Agent Zigzag.
1598362536888.png


First came across this Flashmanesque scoundrel in Camp 020.
1598362842289.png
 

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Can't view it unless you're a member and bollocks am I signing up to wendyball forum. Any chance of a bit of copypasta?
Have edited original post with couple of copied posts from the linked thread.
 
Interesting topic. A lot of notorious criminals were unsuited to service - such as the Kray Twins. I believe General Sir John Hacket said something like "a bad person cannot be a good soldier".

Integrity and trust are important. It does not mean someone cannot change, but would you want to rely on habitual crooks?

Hey Laaa, the Kingos aren't all thieving scousers, you know.
 
The Gendarmerie had a case way up north in Dordogneshire when a retired one of 'them' done over a chateau at gunpoint forcing the owners to open a safe.
Caught by the flics after a hair off his dog was found at the scene.
All British residents up in Dordogneshire within 100kms instantly suspects as it was a Jack Russell.


Currently awaiting sentencing.
 
In 1972, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune.
 

theoriginalphantom

MIA
Book Reviewer
"I am unaware of such an event nor indeed any similar event"

"Any idea how your car ended up with all the missing items inside it?"

"You have found my car? Great! Where was it?"


"Those nurses were defiled before I got here"
 

Chimp

ADC
Posted in error.
 
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ches

LE
That dit in the OP about robbing the cash rooms in supermarkets is cobblers. I've worked on the design for many of the major supermarket chains over the last 30 yrs & the bulk cash rooms are secure & don't have any means of access above the ceiling. They are a sealed location within the building, pretty secure from a physical POV.

That aside, one of the biggest supermarket developments of the early 90s in a well to do south manchester suburb had a petrol station connected to the bulk cash room via a compressed air cartridge system.....takings from the filling station placed into the tubes, loaded into the transfer system & fired along the tubes that were underground. First days takings of over 38k got stuck somewhere under the car park.....estimate for digging up the route of the pipe over 90k. Money written off & is still there as far as I know.
 

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