Amazon.com Widgets
James Frey Official Website
Join the JAMES FREY mailing list
Click

Norco ’80

from Inside Hook

Inside One of the Most Spectacular and Dangerous Bank Heists in U.S. History

An excerpt from Peter Houlahan’s thrilling new book, “Norco ’80”

BY PETER HOULAHAN

Inside One of the Most Spectacular and Dangerous Bank Heists in U.S. History

Inside the Mira Loma House, George Smith and Chris Harven had been smoking weed and working their way through a six pack of Budweiser to keep their nerves down and their courage up. Laid out on the carpet of a back bedroom, an arsenal of weapons and survival supplies were grouped by purpose and ready to be loaded into a half dozen military duffel bags. The two yellow McDonald walkie-talkie radios to be used between Billy in the getaway van, George inside the bank sat off to the side.

Chris, Russ, and George would each enter the bank armed with semi-automatic assault rifles, Chris with his HK93, Russ with the Colt Shorty AR-15, and George with the Heckler .308. Manny would have the riot gun.

The serial numbers on all the guns had been covered up with electrical tape to avoid being readable on bank surveillance tapes. Each of the men would carry at least one side arm, George with a Browning .45 semi-automatic pistol shouldered holstered and another at his hip. Both George and Chris had hundreds of additional rounds of ammunition in fully loaded magazines strapped across their chests. In the front seat of the getaway van, driver Billy Delgado would also have a Colt AR-15 to go along with the .45 Colt automatic handgun tucked into a holster strapped around his right ankle.

For the rifles, George and Chris had made dozens of “jungle clips” allowing them to eject an empty magazine, flip it over, and load a full one in its place in a matter of seconds. Piggybacking three forty-round magazines together up-down-up as George and Chris had done gave the weapon a devastating 120-round capacity, which they were capable of emptying on a target in a little over a minute. Chris Harven alone had seventeen forty-round magazines: 680 extra rounds in total. In addition to this, boxes of extra ammunition, over 3,000 rounds of varying calibers, had already been packed into duffel bags.

Zipped up in two of the bags destined for the trunk of each cold getaway car was survival gear that included map books, compass, water purification tablets, field glasses, mess kits, gas masks, emergency blankets, extra clothing, and insulin vials and three syringes for Russell Harven. Half a dozen hunting knives, a nine-inch Bowie knife, and two machetes were split among survival kits. A Remington hunting rifle with scope and hundreds of rounds of H&H .357 cartridges would go into each trunk. The H&H .357 cartridge was designed primarily for taking down large and dangerous game. In other words, an “elephant gun.”

[ click to continue reading at Inside Hook ]

Posted on July 12, 2019 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art, Los Angeles | | No Comments »