Among the first questions police will ask once they arrive on a crime scene is, “What race was s/he?” And if you’re a crook or a con-artist, this poses a problem. A few clever black crooks actually found a way to solve this problem–at least for awhile–by posing as white. Three black robbers actually wore lifelike masks to fool people into thinking they were white when they robbed a Queens check cashing store, according to prosecutors.
In the court trial of Akeem Monsalvatge, Derrick Dunkley and Edward Byam, victims revealed that they were totally fooled by the robbers. They said that the professional masks were so real, they had no idea that the men were black.
The crafty criminals spent two months planning their stick-up of the store, and speculated that changing races would help them avoid detection by the authorities. They used disguises and special-effects from CFX Composite Effects, a company well known for its movie designs. The robbers allegedly told the company that they needed masks for their music video and talked them down to $2,000 for three masks.
“They wore lifelike, custom-made, Hollywood-style special-effects masks that made them look like a team of white men,” said prosecutor Maria Cruz-Melendez.
What sparked the idea? Apparently, the crooks were inspired by Ben Affleck’s movie, “The Town.”
Just like in the movie, the robbers dressed as police officers and poured bleach in the store to get rid of DNA. Prosecutors have a photo of one of the robbers wearing a t-shirt with a picture of one of the disguised men from the movie. Prosecutors say they also want to introduce four clips from the film as evidence.
Police broke the case when they found an email endorsement from Byam to CFX offering an endorsement after the robbery.