Photo: The Travel Channel.
The Brassiere Brigade, a group of women concocted a titillating scheme of deception. More than a dozen people accused of scheming to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars in coins from Southern Bell Telephone were tried, and several were convicted. Six women were nicknamed the “Brassiere Brigade” for allegedly stuffing coins into their bras.
The Brassiere Brigade
The Case of the Silver Falsies
In September 1950, police in Miami, Florida accidentally discovered a crime ring that had been stealing thousands of dollars from the local phone company for years. The thieves were young women employed in the counting room of the Southern Bell Telephone Company. They were smuggling money out of the building by hiding coin rolls in their bras. The combination of attractive young women, lingerie, and money proved irresistible to the media, and the exploits of the “brassiere brigade” made headlines across the nation.
The crime took advantage of how the Southern Bell Telephone Company processed money it collected from pay phones. After coins were collected from the phones, the money was placed in sealed boxes and brought to the counting room. Here young female employees removed the coins from the boxes and placed them in automatic counting machines. The count made by the machines was the first official record of pay phone revenue.
A few of the female employees figured out that it was easy to surreptitiously stuff rolls of coins down their bras before the money was placed in the machines. Because the money had not been counted yet, the phone company would not realize the money was missing. It was, essentially, a perfect crime.
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