Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

AMBUSH: THE BRINKS ROBBERY OF 1981

"Freeze! Don't Move"

Chief Colsey
Chief Colsey

A few minutes before, Chief Colsey, who continued to search for the suspects, saw a speeding yellow Honda approaching him in the opposite direction on Christian Herald Road.

"I backed into a driveway to turn around to give chase and when I did, a white Buick comes flying by and misses my front bumper by an inch!' he said in a recent interview. "I reported the situation to Nyack P.D., direction of travel, descriptions, license plate numbers while south on Midland Avenue at 80 miles an hour!" he said. He watched as the Buick barreled past the Honda and approached a "T" intersection at Sixth and Broadway. The Buick negotiated the sharp 90-degree turn successfully with wheels spinning but the Honda crashed head-on into a concrete wall. Chief Colsey pulled his unit directly behind the smoking Honda.

"I turned the front wheels of my car so my engine block was in direct line between me and the Honda," he said. The Honda tried to move but its wheels were stuck in the ground and the front end was heavily damaged. The female driver, Judith Clark, opened her door and searched for something behind the seat. "I found out later that the rear passenger, Samuel Brown, had dropped a .9 mm handgun on the floor and they couldn't reach it," the chief said. Brown was still in the back seat, badly injured from the impact.

"FREEZE! DON'T MOVE!" Colsey screamed at the occupants. The passenger, later identified as David Gilbert, crawled out of the wreck onto the ground and asked for help. He was a white man with a large, bushy head of hair and full beard.

"We need help, my friend is hurt!" he pleaded. Colsey, however, wasn't persuaded. Gilbert failed to convince the chief to lower his guard as he held the three suspects at gunpoint. Colsey didn't know at the time that Gilbert planned to keep him distracted while Brown retrieved the handgun to kill the chief.

"People are hurt here! People are hurt!" screamed Gilbert.

"DON'T MOVE! GET OUT OF THE CAR WITH YOUR HANDS UP!" he shouted at the girl. But Judith Clark continued to search for the missing gun. In an act of true courage and police professionalism, Colsey held the three suspects at gunpoint for several minutes until help arrived.

 "Orangetown Police Officer Michael Seidel arrived with a shotgun in hand. I wanted to kiss him! It was just a minute or two but it seemed a lot longer than it was!" Colsey said. Det. Jim Stewart pulled up to the scene with his partner seconds later. "When I got there, we had to pull Brown out of the back seat through the rear window. He was fighting all the way!" he said recently. "It took all of us to get the cuffs on him," he said. Other back up arrived and the three suspects were soon under control.

The Honda
The Honda

All three supplied false names when they were later booked at Nyack Police headquarters. Boudin gave her name as Barbara Edson.

When cops searched the Honda, they found a loaded .9mm automatic in the back of the front seat and $800,000 in cash from the Nanuet National Bank in the trunk. But something even more telling was inside their clothes. When police later examined the clothes of Gilbert and Clark, there were dozens of tiny pieces of glass trapped in the folds. Lab technicians compared these fragments to the windshield of P.O. Lennon's vehicle. It was a match.

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