YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio-- A Northeast Ohio bank burglar made history opening bank vaults and now he's opening up to the FOX 8 I-Team, sharing his secrets of how he did it.
Amil Dinsio, 83, says he and his brother started stealing thousands of dollars from banks when he was just a teenager. Their first was in West Virginia.
"There was a little bank there and we said, 'Damn, that don't look bad, you know?'" Dinsio said. "We got $22,000 and back then that was a lot of money."
Amil and his brother grew up in the Mahoning Valley. He said by the time he reached his twenties he and his brother decided to break their way into banks at night by going through the roof.
"That's the way you gotta do it," Dinsio said. "If you go through the doors somebody might walk in and you blow the score but when you come through the top they don't know you are there."
Dinsio is often referred to as the most successful bank burglar in the country. FBI agents speculate Dinsio and his crew burglarized dozens of banks over 30 years.
He has written a book, and one of his biggest heists was featured in a movie released in March. He did not take part in the making of the movie.
"The movie is about how we went to the bank in California and stole President Nixon's money but the movie isn't all that accurate because only my brother and I know the the whole story," Dinsio said.
Dinsio said he got information that he believes came from Jimmy Hoffa.
"I was told Nixon had $30 million dollars in this bank in Laguna Niguel in California," Dinsio recalled. "I got the numbers of the safety deposit boxes. It was good information. Hey, the way I look at it he shouldn't have put it there. That was a lot of money."
The Dinsio crew went to California, checked out the bank and made their plans.
"We had bag of dirt on top of the vault Thursday night," Dinsio said. "Friday, they opened for business and they did business not knowing the burglar tools and the bags of dirt was on top of the vault."
They went inside the bank after it closed Friday.
"The first box there it was cash, fresh bills and gold coins," Dinsio recalled. "It was only $12 million but that's still a lot of money, so that was good information."
Dinsio believes the money belonged to Nixon.
"I know it was Nixon's money; there is no question about it because they put 125 agents on there immediately," Dinsio said.
He says technology today would make it a lot tougher to pull off the burglaries he and his crew did in the 1960s and 1970s.
He also said he served close to 30 years in prison and has regrets.
"You are taken away from your family," Dinsio said. "Your little kids. That was tough."