Notorious Valley Bank Burglar Dinsio to Open Vault of Memories

WARREN, Ohio – A lot has been written and said over the years about master bank burglar Amil Dinsio.

Filmmakers and documentarians also shared the story of the notorious Mahoning Valley native.

On Friday, Dinsio will tell his own story when he comes to the Robins Theatre for a special “Youngstown Mob Talk” event.

Dinsio, who still lives in the Valley, has a long résumé of bank break-ins. His most famous job came in 1972, when he and his crew gained entry into a California bank they believed held President Richard Nixon’s ill-gotten money.

The 87-year-old would wind up doing 20 years in prison for the crime.

James Naples and Johnny Chechitelli will co-host Friday’s event at the Robins Theatre.

He wrote a book on the burglary, “Inside the Vault,” that was published in 2013. The book will be available to purchase at Friday’s event.

Dinsio doesn’t deny doing the California job, which netted $9 million. But he maintains the FBI falsified evidence to convict him, and he will explain why at Friday’s event.

“[Dinsio] wants to tell his story,” said Johnny Chechitelli, who will co-host the event with James Naples. Chechitelli and Naples are the hosts of the “Youngstown Mob Talk” Facebook group and podcast.

“There are things that he says he found out about the way the FBI investigated the crime that are against the law,” Chechitelli said.

The story of the United California Bank heist, which took place in the sleepy seaside town of Laguna Niguel, was told in the 2018 film “Finding Steve McQueen.” That movie, however, was told from the perspective of Dinsio’s nephew, who was the getaway driver.

Dinsio doesn’t put a lot of stock in the film and refutes many of its elements, Chechitelli said.

“That movie was told through his nephew’s point of view,” Chechitelli said. “He wants to tell his own story.”

In his heyday, Dinsio had earned a reputation for his skill as a bank break-in artist who could bypass security.

Shortly after the California job, he and his crew broke into a Lordstown, Ohio, bank.

Dinsio will discuss the California and Lordstown heists “from conception to execution” at Friday’s event, Chechitelli said.

The second half of the evening will include a question-and-answer session for audience members.

Tickets range from $15 to $35 and can be purchased in advance at or the box office, 160 E. Market St.

Pictured at top: Master bank burglar Amil Dinsio.

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