Encompassing nearly 2,000 years of heists and tunnel jobs, break-ins and escapes, "A Burglar's Guide to the City" offers an unexpected blueprint to the criminal possibilities in the world all around us. You'll never see the city the same way again.Read more...
Encompassing nearly 2,000 years of heists and tunnel jobs, break-ins and escapes, "A Burglar's Guide to the City" offers an unexpected blueprint to the criminal possibilities in the world all around us. You'll never see the city the same way again.
At the core of "A Burglar's Guide to the City" is an unexpected and thrilling insight: how any building transforms when seen through the eyes of someone hoping to break into it. Studying architecture the way a burglar would, Geoff Manaugh takes readers through walls, down elevator shafts, into panic rooms, up to the buried vaults of banks, and out across the rooftops of an unsuspecting city.
With the help of FBI Special Agents, reformed bank robbers, private security consultants, the L.A.P.D. Air Support Division, and architects past and present, the book dissects the built environment from both sides of the law. Whether picking padlocks or climbing the walls of high-rise apartments, finding gaps in a museum's surveillance routine or discussing home invasions in ancient Rome, "A Burglar's Guide to the City" has the tools, the tales, and the x-ray vision you need to see architecture as nothing more than an obstacle that can be outwitted and undercut.
Full of real-life heists-both spectacular and absurd-"A Burglar's Guide to the City" ensures readers will never enter a bank again without imagining how to loot the vault or walk down the street without planning the perfect getaway.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-11-09
- Reviewer: Staff
Architecture blogger Manaugh (The BLDGBLOG Book) turns the building world inside out in this fascinating view of the modern city as seen through the eyes of a potential burglar. Noting that burglary requires architecture, he shows how burglars deconstruct a seemingly stable building environment into a Matrix space... of dissolving and pop-up entryways through to other worlds. They not only navigate air ducts, elevator shafts, and rooftops to gain access to interiors, but sometimes turn regulations intended to safeguard buildings into break-in blueprints. Observing that cities get the type of crime their design calls for, Manaugh shows how Los Angeless freeway system facilitates the stop-and-rob bank heists that made it the bank robbery capital of the world in the 1990s, and how, in the late 80s, one enterprising gang of crooks used the citys storm sewer system to tunnel into a bank vault and nab millions in loot. Manaugh supports his analyses of these weak spots in urban architecture with abundant insights and observations from law enforcement officers, security specialists, and self-identified burglars, and laces the text with thrilling accounts of audacious burglaries. Readers of this illuminating study will never look at the buildings and cities they live in the same way. (Apr.)