What does it take to be an armored truck guard?

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Suspects armed with rifles rob Brinks truck of $15k in South Los Angeles


Suspects armed with rifles rob Brinks truck of $15k in South Los Angeles

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As dramatic video showed last week, armored truck guards like the pair who were robbed at gunpoint in Los Angeles have a potentially high-risk job. But how much does it pay?

On Saturday, a group of suspects made off with nearly $30,000 contained in two money bags just after the Brinks truck had made a cash pickup, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Armored vehicles of this sort are highly secure and hard to break into, according to experts. Their exteriors are typically bulletproof and they lock automatically.

“Their purpose is to be high-profile to signal that they’re protected,” Fred Khoroushi, president of Virginia-based armored vehicle manufacturer Alpine Armoring, told CBS MoneyWatch.

As a result, most armored vehicle thefts are so-called inside jobs, according to industry experts. 

“In the U.S., nearly all thefts are an inside job. Normally they know about it, the routes, the drop-offs, the vehicle itself, what the weaknesses are. It’s rare that you actually get attacked by a completely outside, unrelated outfit,” Khoroushi added. 

“They don’t get paid a lot”

Financial institutions, jewelry stores and other companies use armored trucks to transport cash and other valuables from from one point to another. 

But the vehicles are only as secure as the guards in charge of them, and can be vulnerable if they’re coerced into giving a criminal access. In the U.S., “basically anybody” can be a guard, according to Eugene Gerstein, managing partner at Inkas, a defense firm with an armored vehicle arm. 

“They are just people carrying heavy bags and boxes with money and their job is protecting. They don’t get paid a lot,” he said. 

Job listings for armored vehicle guards on Indeed.com generally offer $18 to $20 an hour, or up to $47,700 a year for salaried roles. Duties include transporting cash and other valuables, as well as servicing ATMs. Generally speaking, job requirements include holding a valid firearm permit, armed guard license and driver’s license. Typically, no college degree is required.

posting for armored car guards and drivers at Ferrari Express in Lawrence, New York, requires that applicants be familiar with “safety protocols and security procedures, such as understanding the exact processes behind unloading vehicles and training against robbery.” 

Responsibilities include driving armored vehicles and keeping them secure, delivering client assets, and unloading parcels. The requirements: a valid driver’s license, armored car guard or security guard license, and firearms permit. Additionally, candidates must people able to lift and pull heavy cargo. The job pays between $19 and $20 an hour, according to the posting. 

“It’s pretty fun job that exposes you to quite a bit of risk and occupational hazards,” Gerstein said. “It’s a lot of heavy lifting and then you drive for hours, and you can get robbed.”

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