Hong Kong Armored Car Crash Leads to Cash Grab
This last Christmas Eve, the traffic on Gloucester Road – the road leading to and away from Hong Kong’s financial center – got even crazier as an armored truck mistakenly spilled an estimated HK$52 million. According to the South China Morning Post, after the UK-owned firm G4S picked up a shipment of cash from the Bank of China (BOCHK) and loaded it into a courier van. It was the side van door, investigators believe, that wasn’t secured once the van took off from the Bank of China corporate headquarters. Of the thirty boxes of HK$500 and HK$1000 notes being transported, three had managed to breach the door and find their way onto the busy, congested road.
Cash Drop Frenzy
Once the first three boxes hit the ground, it was only moments before vehicles were reportedly stopped and their occupants getting out to chase around the cash. The scene was reminiscent of a similar event that took place in the US, earlier in October, when a cash bag flew out the back of an armored truck and onto I-270 in Maryland. GuardaWorld, the company responsible for that botched transport, declined to disclose the exact figures of what had been misplaced however local police used K-9s to track down $200 of that batch.
What was amazing is that in neither of these scenarios did the security companies follow procedures to make sure the vehicles were secured. If you were moving millions of dollars at a time, wouldn’t you check to see if your doors were locked? The British security firm, G4S, quickly worked with authorities to secure the scene immediately once the boxes were discovered to be missing. With the quick work of Hong Kong authorities, all but HK$15 million was recovered – something to the order of $2 million dollars USD. That’s a much better initial recovery than GuardaWorld and Maryland state authorities who managed to recover only $200. (more…)
The three biggest bandits, a taxi cab driver with two passengers, had both been riding behind the cash transport vehicle when the boxes of money dropped out. The cab driver, drivi
Culprits Quickly Identified
The three biggest bandits, a taxi cab driver with two passengers, had both been riding behind the cash transport vehicle when the boxes of money dropped out. The cab driver, driving a cosmetologist and electronics recycler to their respective workplaces, immediately stopped his vehicle and the three frantically joined an ever growing mob of cash scavengers. While obviously many managed to escape with fists full of Hong Kong dollars, these three got identified specifically once Hong Kong police arrived on the scene. With the median income reported for a resident of Hong Kong is $22,400 – the reaction was considered on par with similar incidences yet it serves as a refresher on basic security protocols for those in the armored car industry.
The first two culprits to be captures – the aforementioned unnamed cosmetologist and electronics recycler – were taken in with HK$5.69 million worth of bank notes. Worth mentioning are the innumerable numbers of pedestrians and motorists who managed to escape with quite a bit of money – totaling the sum of the estimated HK$15 million still at large.
Return the Cash or Keep it?
Is it worth it to be a Good Samaritan in these situations? In May of 2014, a Fresno man wound up with an unexpected cash infusion of nearly $125,000 when an armored Brinks van dropped off a sack of cash at an intersection. In that case, the man kindly returned the money to authorities. For his good deed, he received a $5,000 reward. And in June of 2009, an estimated $400,000 tumbled out of the back of a Brink’s security truck as it was moving through the streets of Syracuse, NY – causing quite a stir there as motorists and pedestrians similarly flocked to their future nest eggs. While two Good Samaritans similarly did the honest thing of rounding up what cash they could back into the plastic bins, nearly $60,000 of the original amount was never fully recovered. Brinks, in this case, gave one of the men a gold coin commemorating the 150th anniversary of the company and a t-shirt. So, what’s your opinion? Is it worth the grand larceny charge getting caught with stolen money or the piece of mind in knowing you returned misplaced property? Comment below!