How the Mafia Robs Jewelry Salesmen

Retired Mafia Detective Gary Jenkins tells how Mafia gangsters set up and rob jewelry salesmen. You may not know, but every day in the U.S., thousands of honest, hardworking salesmen load up their sales cases and hit the road to show their samples of gold, silver, or platinum jewelry with diamonds, rubies, emeralds, or other precious stones embedded.  Mafia associates gather intelligence constantly on these salesmen. Gary tells about a gang working for the infamous Chicago Police Superintendent William Handhardt and gives an example from his own experience in Kansas City.
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Guy Altabello dealt with Hanhart second command a guy named Joseph Basinski. Ultra Bella will provide the names addresses car descriptions and license numbers and schedules of the various salesman that called on his son how to rob a jewelry salesman I happen to see on Facebook this morning, Mike Byrne up in Chicago, puts out Chicago Tribune articles and he put one out about William Hanhart. And some of his juries that gang he had a big gang of Chicago outfit kind of a lot of associates and professional criminals up there that went around robbing jewelry salesmen in jewelry stores. So how to rob a jewelry salesman in every major American city, jewelry salesman ply their trade by the hundreds of 1000s throughout the country, carrying jewelry samples around in jewelry salesman cases and call on independent Europe jewelers, and you know, they just travel around like any independent traveling salesman does. They travel in cars, they stay in hotels, they eat on the road, they stopped for gas, they use the bathroom, they do all the other normal roadtrip activities, which makes them kind of vulnerable to these guys mak es them a soft target.

Professional Jewelrey. The professional jewel thief needs intelligence on these guys though. So when the FBI broke up this jewelry theft ring of Chicago police superintendent William and heart a lot of these trade secrets were revealed and we kind of knew what they were but they got some solid information. When they when they took this whole crew down. There’s in this article and Tribune they had a guy learned they had a guy named Guy Ottobello of Elmhurst. And he worked in his son’s jewelry store which was called Altabellos. And it was in Wheaton, which is a far west kind of Chicago, small town suburb, and Guy Altabello dealt with Hanhart second command a guy named Joseph Basinski. Alta Bello will provide the names addresses, car descriptions and license numbers and schedules of the various salesman that called on his son or his son’s store, he could even give him approximate time of how long they would be in the Chicago area and when they came and when they might come back. And example this was real specific was one day in 1996 Altabello passed along the description of a salesman’s rental car that called on his store that day Hanhart then used the police aboard that you know, a called a sergeant a Sarja you know, as Commander Hanhart you know, would you find out about this cards and rental company cards, so they found out everything they could from rental company, and they get more of a fix on the guy and and then they start trying to find the guy that see where he goes next or where he’s staying what hotel he’s in, and, and and they know that he’s gonna have maybe $100,000 worth of jewelry or less or more, they’re gonna have he’s gonna have a lot. Now, when they took this down, they’re rested this Joseph Basinski in and he was carrying around a case of some guide and he they found descriptions of salesmen, car descriptions, home addresses, hotel names, that these various salesmen would stay in telephone numbers and other detailed information about travel schedules. And he had it run more than 100 Different salesman is amazing, you know, and here in Kansas City, we had a crew, Johnny Joe Calia, and George Bruton Jimmy Toes are Crazy eyes Abbot formed up this crew now they all didn’t go on every score, but they you know, they got a score going then it got some information then they would, you know, get together and they had people in the jewelry business. I can tell you that right now. I know one time our guys caught Johnny Caresio and Johnny Joe Calia shadowing a jewelry salesman, exclusive shopping area called the plaza. These guys were just down there goofing around. They didn’t really have a plan or what they were doing. They were just driving through. Probably looking at the girls It was a sunny day I can’t remember.

And they see Calia and Careso and look like maybe another guy that couldn’t tell exactly who it was. And they seem to be like focused on a guy parking and going in he’s into a store in a jewelry store. And so then our guys you know they went drove around the corner quickly and came back and sat up on him trying to watch that store and that Guy Jewelry sale or That guy’s car that went in and they found out later was a jewelry salesman and calling for some help to get down there because you know you don’t know how this is gonna go down they’re gonna take him down there maybe they follow him somewhere else. Maybe try to follow him to his hotel room and break in his trunk there because they didn’t do armed robberies you know that the the break in something to break into a car and steal $100,000 score the the consequences are much less than if you put a gun in their face. But these guys

as their antennae were up and there wasn’t any time John Jo Calia burned them and you always know when you’ve been burned, very few people. Don’t let you know when they burned. Yeah, I’ve noticed they’ll give you luck. They’ll come back by, they’ll do something, it or sometimes it’s even some of them. It’s just like a shift in their body. As you see them, they like come to attention come to a little more alert, and they can’t help but look your way. So they came to a alerted on our guys and they were gone. They were totally gone. Now the only time we ever and I like caught one here in the city. And we didn’t know the intelligence unit didn’t do it. But it happened is

an alert district officer noticed a guy in a really nice car. Remember what Caresio had it with John Caresio, really nice car walking out into a vacant lot where a lot of other crap was thrown out there and throwing something down. So a pause over snatches him up and makes him walk back out. And the district officer finds a really expensive looking briefcase. And he finds a really nice looking salesman case. And so he looks in him and he sees that, you know, there’s some kind of something in there indicated they belong to a jewelry salesman, he got I got good information on grease, yo, they couldn’t really never be probable cause to take him in. But they got really good information on him. Let him go took the case in the briefcase, and and looked at it as evidence possible evidence, put it in the property room got ahold of detectives and then about that time, you know, later that afternoon or the next day, the report comes in that some salesman’s cars had the lock picked on the trunk trunk was open and closed and there was no signs of forcible entry. And he lost, you know, 70 or $80,000 worth of jewelry. And one of their guys Jimmy tolls, he was like an expert at being a lockpick they always usually brought him along they thought they were going to have to pick a lock and especially in a car told us to go around the golf courses and and pick the lock, you know, guys would leave really expensive sets of clubs locked up in their trunk while they play cards or They gamble at Suburban country clubs and, and he picked the locks and get these really nice sets of clubs out so so they got they made it they were able to make a case on presyo But he was not talking about anybody else. So that’s how jewelry, that ring works. And in our case in Kansas City, they were all mob associates. So they would had to kick to the Civella family or to Cammisano or somebody Hanhart and them I don’t know if I would imagine Hanhart he got the money. He got the lion’s share because he set up everything and he was pretty tightly connected to the mob the outfit. I don’t know if he would have had to kick to him or not then he probably did and you know they don’t really like somebody having a piece of action that’s really going well and making money for people unless they get a little taste of it. So I don’t know. Anyhow, that’s a quick down and dirty story about the how you catch a jewelry theft. Right. Thanks guys. Thanks, guys.


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