Rostov "Fantomas": The bloody history of the Tolstopyatov brothers gang
Categories: HistoryBy Pictolic https://pictolic.com/article/rostov-fantomas-the-bloody-history-of-the-tolstopyatov-brothers-gang.html
The gang of "Fantomas" kept Rostov-on-Don in fear for five long years. This gang has 14 armed robberies and several human lives on its account. The leaders of the criminal group, the Tolstopyatov brothers, had a remarkable mind and a lot of talents. Unfortunately, all these brothers were used exclusively for criminal purposes and brought grief and death to people.
The youngest Tolstopyatov, Vyacheslav, was distinguished by special talents. Since early childhood, he was fond of drawing, and during his school years, drawing and mechanics were added to this hobby. Vyacheslav used to redraw illustrations from books, but one day, out of boredom, he drew a 50-ruble bill. Fake money managed to pay in the store, after which the guy made a few more "fifty kopecks" and a couple of "acres".
In order to turn fake money into real money, Tolstopyatov paid them with taxi drivers, giving large bills. He received the change with real money that could be safely spent. Having got used to the fact that taxi drivers never look at banknotes in the semi-darkness of the car, Vyacheslav became so arrogant that he gave one of the drivers 50 rubles, which had only one side drawn.
That's where Tolstopyatov got burned – the taxi driver noticed the catch and called the police. The counterfeiter was arrested, and the most humane court in the world sentenced him to four years in prison. Vyacheslav wasted no time behind bars – he made useful acquaintances in the criminal environment. In the colony, Sergei Samasyuk became his friend, in conversations with whom the idea of a dashing gang appeared.
After being released, Vyacheslav and Sergey initiated the elder Tolstopyatov, Vladimir, into their plans. Soon Vladimir Gorshkov, a childhood friend of the brothers, joined the trinity. For the gathering of gang members, a secret room was equipped, the entrance of which was masked by a mirror.
The accomplices planned to engage in armed robberies, and for this they needed a good weapon. This is where Vyacheslav Tolstopyatov's love of drawing and mechanisms came in handy. Soon, several metalworking machines appeared in the secret room.
The brothers could not make all the details of the weapon in artisanal conditions: they had to order some elements from friends who worked at various enterprises in Rostov-on-Don. When ordering, the criminals explained that these were parts for household appliances. The final fitting, finishing and assembly of weapons was carried out in the basement workshop. So there were several pistols, four revolvers and three submachine guns with folding butts, which became the main pride of the brothers.
The first robbery that the gang attempted on October 7, 1968, ended in failure. Vyacheslav Tolstopyatov, Samasyuk and Gorshkov tried to seize a passenger car in order to raid the regional office of the State Bank on it, but the driver of the car ran away from them along with the keys.
The next three attacks also ended in failures, but during one of them the raiders shot a war veteran, pensioner Chumakov, who tried to detain them. On that day, only 526 rubles became the prey of bandits. After that, the criminals decided to attack the chemical plant's cash register on the day of the salary issue. But this time, too, everything went wrong as planned – an armed guard prevented, who managed to drive away the attackers.
A series of robberies, following one after another, brought the regional police to their feet. In Rostov-on-Don, a high-alert mode was introduced for the police and an operational headquarters was created, which included more than 100 people. References to bandits were sent to all departments of the region, but this did not help much – the gang went out to work in tight nylon stockings on their heads, covering their faces. For this, they were called the "Fantomas Gang", in honor of the popular French film at that time. In those years, there were many crimes inspired by this movie: when after watching Soviet citizens began to rob and kill, the film had to be withdrawn from rental.
Meanwhile, the gang decided to go on a big deal. The target of the attackers was a collection car. This time everything went according to plan and the production of "Fantomas" was a huge amount at that time – 20 thousand rubles. Inspired by the success of the bandits decided to rob the collectors, but they were not always lucky. The next attack ended in a shootout, during which Gorshkov was wounded in the back. While the accomplice was being treated, the gang lay low.
In 1973, criminals attacked the cash register of one of the research institutes of Rostov-on-Don, where they gave out salaries to employees. But the enraged citizens showed unexpected courage and drove the robbers away. One of the bystanders, a loader of a nearby store, tried to detain one of the attackers, but died.
The police got involved in the case and a car chase began. Fire was opened on the Fantomas car and one of the bandits, Samasyuk, was fatally wounded. He died right on the bag with the money taken from the cash register. Gorshkov was also wounded again, this time in the arm. It all ended with a slight collision with the train - the bandits tried to break away from the cars with the police at the railway crossing.
As a result, the Tolstopyatov brothers and Gorshkov were detained. Later, the investigation identified eight more people involved in the gang, but not involved in the attacks. On July 1, 1974, the court sentenced Vyacheslav and Vladimir Tolstopyatov and Vladimir Gorshkov to capital punishment - execution. The rest of the gang members received long sentences.
In total, from 1968 to 1973, the gang carried out 14 attacks, during which two citizens were killed and three wounded. During this time, 150 thousand rubles became the prey of "Fantomas". Special attention of the investigation was attracted by homemade weapons made by Vyacheslav Tolstopyatov. All experts recognized that it was designed and assembled by an extraordinarily gifted person. In his last speech before the court , the gang leader Vyacheslav Tolstopyatov said:
After the sentencing, several appeals followed, but all of them were rejected. On March 6, 1975, Tolstopyatovs and Gorshkov were shot. The "Fantomas" gang has remained in the criminal history of one of the most unusual and violent gangster groups.