Police to revisit $1.7m legendary Murwillumbah bank heist

TWEED police may reopen investigations into the $1.7million cold case robbery of a Murwillumbah bank 35 years ago.

Between the night of November 22 and morning of November 23, 1978, the sophisticated heist was pulled off by a group colloquially known as the 'magnetic drill gang'.

Decades on, they have never been caught.

About 7am a security guard noticed the back door of the Bank of NSW was slightly ajar, leading police to find the dials of the strongroom door removed and the tumblers jammed.

A robbery of that magnitude was something you'd only dream would happen in Murwillumbah. It was certainly talked about frequently by people in town for years.

Nine hours and a jackhammer later, police busted through the half-a-metre thick strongroom wall to find the robbers had picked the room clean, using an electromagnetic diamond tipped drill to precisely crack the safe.

The scene of the crime.
The scene of the crime.

Tweed Police Detective Inspector Brendon Cullen this week said he was intrigued by the case and was interested to revisit evidence.

"Well, someone certainly got away with a significant haul.

"It's an interesting case and something I want to look into.

"I'd say there'd be no police left in the job who attended the scene, but I would definitely like to revisit it and take a look at the evidence gathered at the time."

Tweed Shire identity and former mayor Max Boyd, 80, who was a councillor at the time, said townsfolk were shocked their sleepy town was the target of a professional heist.

"A robbery of that magnitude was something you'd only dream would happen in Murwillumbah," he said.

"It was certainly talked about frequently by people in town for years afterwards."

- What's your theory on the great bank heist? Leave your comments below. 

Topics:  crime editors picks

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