Black Robbers Wore White Masks to Pull Off Crimes

Sample white masks (Composite Effects)
Sample white masks (Composite Effects)

Akeem Monsalvatge, Derrick Dunkley and Edward Byam were big fans of the heist movie The Town. They were so inspired by Ben Affleck's film about a group of Boston townies who wear masks to pull off big-time robberies that the three Queens, N.Y., men attempted to live out the movie in real life — but with a twist.


In The Town, the bank robbers are white and wear white masks. Monsalvatge, Dunkley and Byam, who are black, decided to wear white masks. Now they face life in prison, according to the New York Post.

The crew shelled out nearly $3,000 for three masks and dressed up as cops during the heist that netted them a $200,000 windfall.

The threesome immediately embarked on a coast to coast shopping spree from Manhattan to Beverly Hills as they gorged on luxury items including $1,600 Christian Louboutin shoes and $600 Louis Vuiton belts.

The robbers managed to fool staffers at the check cashing store that they were white - but a trail of criminal miscues eventually led to their arrest and yesterday's guilty verdict.

As in the movie, the three men researched the clerks they would rob prior to the robbery, and used what they learned as a scare tactic.

The men showed an employee at the bank a picture of her house to indicate a readiness to harm her family if she resisted.

Cops found the picture at the crime scene and traced it to a nearby Walgreen's where surveillance footage showed one of the men purchasing the image from the store's photo department.

Read more at the New York Post.

Jozen Cummings is the author and creator of the popular relationship blog Until I Get Married, which is currently in development for a television series with Warner Bros. He also hosts a weekly podcast with WNYC about Empire called Empire Afterparty, is a contributor at and works at Twitter as an editorial curator. Follow him on Twitter.