S409: The Norco Bank Heist part 2
Play • 1 hr 5 min

The Norco Security Pacific Bank heist was just the beginning. 

The thief in the night

George Smith and his friend Chris Harven decided to rob a bank in Norco, California. And just like in the movies, these bank robbers charged into the bank and demanded all the money. Except, it was a Friday afternoon, and the vault was pretty much empty.

In part one of The Norco Bank Heist, we left off as the bank robbers blasted away the Sheriff Deputies arriving at the scene.


Peter Houlahan, author of the book “Norco ‘80” says that “There were over 500 rounds fired—200 of them shot at [Deputy Glyn] Balasky alone. They hit his vehicle 46 times, wounding him badly in the elbow. All three of the responding deputies had their vehicle struck multiple times. There were bullets in citizens cars, in houses, in the storefronts. Everything in that intersection was hit with gunfire. Five civilians had been injured.”

The Riverside County Sheriff's deputies were completely overwhelmed in the firefight. They never really stood a chance.

The pursuit

George Wayne Smith and his buddies managed to flee the scene and are on their way to get the cold cars parked a few miles away. But how did this chaotic chase end 60 miles east in a remote canyon heading towards the Mojave desert?


Norco ’80

Buy a copy of Norco ’80: The True Story of the Most Spectacular Bank Robbery in American History by Peter Houlahan on Amazon or wherever you get your books.


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