To the Editor: The "smash-and-grab" robberies are increasing and are getting a great deal of coverage in the media these days. While the recent "smash-and-grabs" in California, Illinois and Minnesota were well-organized, with large numbers of men participating—up to 80 in one robbery—there were multiple participants doing armed robberies in a number of cities that spiked in the 1960s and 1970s. During those years in New York City, there was a rash of armed robberies, and the NYPD decided to take serious action to stop the robberies.
The "Stakeout Unit" was formed and it operated between 1968 and 1973. The stories about the unit are told by Jim Cirullo in "Guns, Bullets and Gunfights" and "Jim Cirullo's Tales of the Stakeout Squad." The Stakeout Unit killed about 25 armed robbers during its six years in operation.