A band of daring Aussie thieves took on London and Europe from the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s in a crime spree of gigantic proportions. The gang, more than 60 strong, comprised pickpockets, shoplifters and conmen all of whom were notorious among Australian crime circles before making the journey overseas. They were quite simply the cream of the antipodeans criminal crop.
We will illustrate how the gangs’ adapted methods, used on a small scale in Australia; to successfully pull off jobs in many esteemed European stores, thought impregnable by the local English crooks and police.
The Kangaroo Gang operated at a time before closed-circuit television cameras. They elevated shoplifting to an art form, practised without guns or violence. The leader of the gang, the charismatic Arthur “The King” Delaney found a way to simply ‘disappear’ with the loot.
The King’s 30-year criminal odyssey culminated in the biggest job of his career – six million dollars’ worth of precious gems from Asprey of London, jeweller to the Queen – in broad daylight.
The gang is thought to have been responsible for more than 1 million pounds worth of thefts each year for nearly a decade. The Kangaroo crime wave also spread to the Continent where the gang found rich pickings in the boutiques and jewellery stores of the great capitals of Europe.
The plunder was only stemmed when enterprising intelligence officers of Scotland Yard’s C11 Squad compiled a dossier of information and mug shots that was circulated through much of the Western World.
This documentary will follow the career of the Kangaroo gang leaders through interviews with former gang members, their families, and police in Australia, Great Britain and Europe.
The production will draw on archival footage recreating the luxury retail scene of London in “the Swinging Sixties”. We will also draw on contemporary news footage detailing the gang’s activities and efforts of police to bring them undone.
The Kangaroo Gang will also include recreations of particular heists to demonstrate in great detail the methods used by the crooks.
The production will also explain how many of the thieves graduated from shoplifting to the lucrative international drug trade.