Gang Busted for 'Fast & Furious' Style Truck Robberies
Look out Dom, these guys are coming for the number one spot.
The year was 2001 and the import tuner scene was about to explode thanks to an action movie by the name of The Fast and The Furious. In the opening scene, a truck carrying a boat-load of electronics is traveling the streets at night, and three drivers in black Honda Civics complete an over-the-top heist to steal the truck. Apparently, a gang of Romanian thieves has been pulling similar stunts over the past few years to steal everything from iPhones to coffee, according to news sources.
Since 2015, Dutch police have credited this specific gang for robbing more than 17 trucks using what they have dubbed the Romanian Method. In their latest stunt, police said the bandits used a "modified van" that targets trucks carrying expensive merchandise. They followed closely behind the truck to stay out of the driver's view and then climbed out of the sunroof ready to check the truck for the day's treasure. The thieves broke the lock on the truck's rear doors and one jumped inside. They then passed the stolen goods into the van through a hole in the vehicle's roof and drove away. These types of niche robberies are not uncommon, but the method this particular string used certainly was.
Police have been monitoring these types of thefts for some time. It was determined that the group typically targeted high-end electronics, but also stole televisions, cigarettes, coffee, and more. The proverbial "nail in the coffin" was when the group was found with $590,000 worth of stolen iPhones in their van at a resort in the Netherlands over the weekend.
When questioned, Dutch police spokesman Ed Kraszewski noted that the officers were skeptical that something like this could be pulled off, even though it had in the past elsewhere in Europe. As proof, here is a video the Romanian police released in 2012 where thieves used an angle grinder to cut a lock off of a moving truck. Though the thieves in the video deemed the contents unworthy of lifting, it's clear that this isn't their first attempt at a (literal) highway robbery.
This might not be Dom and the crew, but they very well may have been inspired by such events. It takes a lot of guts to jump from car to car at highway speeds, but even more calculated precision for the police to finally pinpoint just how the thieves were getting away with it for so long. At least they didn't take Jame May's advice on how to deal with thieves.