Andre Stander was born to be a cop: His father was a general in the South African Department of Correctional Services, and he graduated at the top of his class at Pretoria Police College. Stander enjoyed a rapid ascent through the ranks and held the post of captain by the age of 31. The guy became such a legend that he was recently portrayed by Thomas Jane in a movie of his life, Stander.
One of his of his many roles involving blasting people with a large weapon.
But at the Same Time ...
Of course, most of the movie concerns his other job ... as a bank robber. Stander would sometimes rob banks on his lunch break and then go back in the afternoon to investigate.
"Hey everyone, I found a clue! Wait, no, it's my wallet."
It all started in 1977, when Stander hopped on an early morning flight to another city, rented a car, and, donning a wig, mask, and sunglasses, proceeded to rob the shit out of a bank. He caught another flight back that afternoon and finished his shift at the Kempton Park Station. And then he did it again, and again, and again. For years.
After the first robbery, Stander stopped renting cars and simply stole them, because why the hell not? Even when he started robbing banks in his own jurisdiction, he was so good at disguising himself that no one ever recognized him. In fact, after three years, the only reason anybody even caught on is because Stander actually approached another cop and basically said, "Hey, guess who has two thumbs and likes to pillage the shit out of Johannesburg? This guy!" Stander's hope was to persuade his longtime partner in the Robbery Task Division to join the Dark Side of the Force. Carl Van Deventer, Stander's would-be accomplice, set up a sting instead.
Fort Lauderdale Police Department
Stander was expelled and Deventer was suspended for being a lousy partner.
Stander was caught and sentenced to 75 years in a South African prison. He served three of those years before he decided he'd had enough. Taking a nurse hostage, Stander pulled off a jail break and then essentially said, "Alright, world, I was taking it easy on you. Now the motherfucking kid gloves are coming off."
For the next year, Stander went on an international crime spree. He spent a year robbing up to four banks a day, spanning the globe from Cape Town to Greece, then to Spain, then back to Africa so he could steal a goddamn yacht, and then hightailing it to the U.S. Stander was finally gunned down in Fort Lauderdale after a botched attempt at fencing a boat worth almost half a million dollars, which only proves that there's crazy, and then there's batshit crazy, and then there's Florida.
Will Millar wrote a book called Infernal Machines, which you can check out here. He also Twitters and Tumbls.
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