Senior Citizen Mobsters Needed a Pension: Caught Planning Bank Heist and Break-In

April 11, 2010

(ChattahBox)—Three aging mobsters, way past the age of retirement, were arrested by federal authorities in Chicago on Thursday, for conspiring to rob a bank and the home of their dead mob boss, Angelo “The Hook” LaPietra. The long-time criminal threesome, Joseph “Jerry” “The Monk” Scalise, 73, Robert “Bobby” Pullia, 69, and Arthur “The Genius” Rachel, 71, had been under F.B.I. surveillance and were picked up as they prepared to rob LaPietra’s home, believing the late mob boss had secreted away cash and other valuables somewhere inside his Bridgeport compound.

Retired F.B.I. mob expert James Wagner, pointed out to the Chicago Sun Times that aging mobsters don’t have the benefit of a pension and they often need to keep working well into their golden years, or perhaps they just missed the thrill of a successful bank heist and those cool gangster nicknames.

Scalise and Rachel, became notorious years earlier, when they were arrested for stealing the 45-carat Marlborough diamond and other jewels from a London jewelry store. The loot, worth $2.6 million at the time, was never recovered.

According to the Chicago Sun Times:

‘”The Monk” and “The Genius” once stole the 45-carat Marlborough diamond in broad daylight from a London jewelry store — a theft that made headlines across the world in 1980. Nearly 30 years later, despite their advanced age, they spent months casing an armored car picking up money at a bank every Thursday morning in west suburban La Grange, authorities said Friday. Authorities say the former home of late mob boss Angelo LaPietra was being cased.”

Scalise, a recognized bank robbery expert, was hired by Hollywood director Michael Mann as a technical advisor to his 2009 movie “Public Enemies,” which chronicled the life of bank robber John Dillinger.

The aging mobsters had been under F.B.I. investigation, since the 2007 robbery of a Chicago bank branch of $100,000. DNA evidence obtained from the getaway car was traced to Scalise.

“No matter how old they are, they’re still dangerous. What you have to realize is these guys don’t have a pension,” said former F.B.I. agent James Wagner.


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