On December 12, 1982, at about 11:00 p.m., a pair of men in ski masks cut through the roof at Sentry, an armored car company in the Bronx. They burst into the security office and subdued the only guard on duty, 25-year-old Christos Potamitis, by handcuffing him to a railing. They cracked the money room with a crowbar and bolt cutters, and they left with $11 million.
The robbers’ knowledge of the building’s layout, security system, alarms and garages all pointed to an inside job. Since some of the money was federally insured, the FBI claimed jurisdiction and formed a 37-member special investigative unit, which, after 8 weeks and a lot of polygraphs, led to the arrest of the lone guard on duty at the time of the crime, Chrisos Potamitis.
It also resulted in the unrelated indictment of Sentry’s former president, who was an ex-police officer, for the embezzlement of $346,000, and the misappropriation of $29 million more to accrue illegal bank interest.
But back to the robbery: Potamitis and 3 friends – Demetrious Papadakis, Steve Argitakos, and Eddie Argitakos (Steve’s son, and the crime’s alleged mastermind) – faced trial in October 1983. $1 million was recovered from a closet at the home of Papadakis’s in-laws, and a co-conspirator testified against his friends on the promise of immunity. All but Papadakis were convicted. About $9 million of the take remains unaccounted for.