On the 24th of April 1975 a gang of bank robbers stole approximately £8,000,000 from the Bank Of America, At its time it was the biggest ever heist in British history, nearly all the gang was caught but only £500,000 was ever recovered.
Because of the lack of cooperation from the gang, the story was set on assumption of DI Jack Slipper and Stuart Buckley (The inside man) and not the full truth on who was in charge and how they pulled it off as Buckley was never told all the plan.
The actual mastermind of the robbery was a man well known in the criminal underworld but not to the general public, Leonard Wilde also known as Leonard Minchinton or ‘John the Bosch’. At the time John was the best safe cracker and key maker in the country, if you needed a key to a door or safe busted open John the Bosch was your man.
Before his death in 2006 John was a very good friend of my dads, John unlike other criminals of that time never wanted to write books, screen plays or reap any fame from his career, those that did and named names even after death he said were grasses. John was proper old school, like a lot of criminals of that era, he got away with a hell of a lot that the general public will never know about.
In many conversations with John we spoke in depth about the robbery of the Bank Of America in 1975 which he was the mastermind behind. At the time it was the biggest ever heist and John and 10 accomplices got away with 8 million pounds in Jewellery, Gold and Cash.
I have since searched the web to find any stories or press clippings about the event and i found 2 small reports on the events of that night in Mayfair but none of them depicted the real events of the heist, just basically what happened in court.
I am one of very few people, the others who have all since passed away, that actually knows the true story of how they did it.
John was a locksmith by trade and a very good one, he understood the mechanisms and combinations in how locks worked to the point that he could feel out a barrel and actually make a key that would open almost any lock, the guy also had a photographic memory and throughout the 60s & 70s criminal fraternity in London he was known as the best Key man & Safe cracker in the business.