Background and the robbery[edit]

Dinsio’s accomplices were his brother, James Dinsio, his nephews Harry and Ronald Barber, his brother-in-law Charles Mulligan, alarm expert Phil Christopher and Charles Broeckel. The Dinsio crew was from Youngstown, Ohio and Christopher and Broeckel were from Cleveland. Amil Dinsio was the mastermind of the operation but he worked closely with his brother, James who was the explosives expert, burglary tool designer and fabricator. His brother-in-law, Charles Mulligan was the driver and look out man. The inclusion of Phil Christopher and Charles Broeckel was forced upon Dinsio by the person who clued him in on the score. Dinsio reluctantly took Broeckel along as muscle only, which proved to be a critical mistake. He had no skills needed to assist in any other way with the score as he was nothing more than a petty thief.  helped inside the vault to bust open safe deposit boxes. He simply was a look out man communicating with Dinsio via walkie talkie. Christopher played a key role in figuring out how to disarm the alarm. The total stolen from this score was estimated at nearly $9 million.[2] The gang gained entry to the vault by using dynamite to blast a hole in its reinforced concrete roof.

Investigation and arrests[edit]

While the burglary itself was executed perfectly, the thieves made the mistake of perpetrating a similar crime back in Ohio a few months later. The FBI linked the two burglaries, and their investigation of transportation records revealed that the entire gang had travelled to California on a single flight using their own names. They also learned of the townhouse used as an HQ, which had been rented by one of the gang members. A search initially found nothing, until the dishwasher was checked. The burglars had forgotten to run the dishwasher before returning to Ohio, and the recovered fingerprints permitted federal arrest warrants to be made. This lead to the arrest and conviction of all the burglars, along with recovering most of the loot as well.

Trial and witness tampering[edit]

Earl Dawson, who assisted the police and testified against the gang was offered money by his brother Harold Dawson to influence his testimony. Earl Dawson was placed in the witness protection program as was Charles Broeckel, who testified against his co-conspirators in exchange for immunity from prosecution. [3][4]

In popular culture[edit]

Accounts of the burglary and investigation have been shown on truTV and Investigation Discovery. Dinsio’s book, Inside The Vault, was self-published in 2014 with the assistance of his daughter. The 2012 movie Superthief discussed Christopher’s knowledge of alarm systems and his role in the planning and execution of the burglary. The incident is used as the basis of the 2019 movie Finding Steve McQueen.

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