Officials say three black men disguised themselves as white police officers with lifelike masks to rob a New York City check-cashing store of $200,000.
“They wore lifelike, custom-made, Hollywood-style special-effects masks that made them look like a team of white men,” prosecutor Maria Cruz-Melendez said at the suspects' trial in Brooklyn federal court Tuesday.
Witnesses testified how the alleged thieves fooled them with the get-ups to rob the Pay-O-Matic in Queens in February 2012, according to the New York Post
Prosecutors say the trio planned the heist for two months, theorizing that concealing their race would help them avoid detection.
They say the men got their masks from CFX Composite Effects, paying $2,000. The special-effects company has done work on such movies as "Wolverine."
According to the Post, police were led to them after one of the suspects emailed the company to say he was "extremely pleased by CFX work on the mask."
Officials said the robbers apparently were inspired by the 2010 Ben Affleck movie "The Town" in which the robbers wear masks and police uniforms.
Copyright Associated Press / NBC 6 South Florida