Real-Life Thomas Crown Turns Life Around After Heist

Jan 25, 2014 7:10am
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Anthony Curcio in an interview with Gio Benitez for ABC News' "20/20." (ABC News)

Over five years after being arrested for robbing a Brinks truck and serving time in federal prison, Anthony Curcio has found a new passion.

“I most recently talked at a middle school and have two high school assemblies this month, along with working with inner-city kids in an anti-gang/crime conference next week,” Curcio told ABC News’ “20/20″ in an email. ”Things have started slowly but this is my passion and I believe my calling.”

Curcio currently devotes his time toward speaking to kids about his not-too-distant dark past of drug addiction and crime.  In April 2013, Curcio was released from federal prison after serving five years for what he at one time thought was the perfect crime.

Addicted to prescription drugs and lacking a way to fund his habit, Curcio made a plan in 2008 to steal from a Brinks truck with a getaway that echoed “The Thomas Crown Affair.”

RELATED: Out of Prison, Real-Life Thomas Crown Looks Back on Almost-Perfect Heist 

While sitting in a Jack in the Box parking lot across from a Bank of America in Monroe, Wash., Curcio meticulously studied the movements and patterns of the Brinks trucks for three-and-a-half months.  He posted a Craiglist ad soliciting day laborers for a landscape job.  On the day of his planned heist, he instructed them to wear a very specific outfit and to arrive at the bank parking lot at the time he was to rob the Brinks truck.

On Sept. 30, 2008, Curcio approached a Brinks truck, sprayed the driver with mace, and took the bags of money.  He then ran across the street where the several men he had solicited from Craigslist were dressed exactly like him. Making his way to a nearby creek, Curcio took an inner tube downstream to a parked getaway vehicle with $400,000 in cash.

However, Curcio did not get far thanks to a 911 call from a homeless man who had seen Curcio previously leave his disguise behind a Dumpster during Curcio’s dry-run of the crime and found him suspicious.

Curcio was arrested on Nov. 4, 2008. He was convicted and sentenced to six years in federal prison.

Since being released, Curcio, now sober, co-authored the book “Heist and High,” and wrote and illustrated more than 20 children’s books on topics like drug and incarcerated parents.

Aside from being an author and public speaker, Curcio has also undertaken an important new role.

“I am coaching my oldest’s first grade basketball team and am a few games in the season.  It is one of the coolest things that I have ever been a part of,” Curcio said.

“I must say, I am a great first grade girls basketball coach.”

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