Robber in 1975 Bonded Vault heist dies

February 28, 2018

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A man who served prison time for his role in the infamous Bonded Vault heist in Rhode Island in 1975 has died.

A spokesperson with the state Department of Health says Ralph “Skippy” Byrnes died of “Alzheimer’s dementia” Feb. 13. He was 72.

Byrnes was one of eight gunmen who emptied the secret vault inside the Hudson Fur Storage building in Providence. The men stole millions of dollars in cash, jewelry and silver bars from safe deposit boxes that investigators previously said were used by mobsters and their associates.

Byrnes was originally sentenced to life in prison, but his sentence was later reduced to 35 years. WPRI-TV reports he was released after serving 11 years and remained on parole until his sentence ended in 2010.

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