Dirty Tricks Gang
The Dirty Tricks Gang was a mainly African-Canadian stick-up gang formed by childhood friends from the downtown area of Toronto, Canada. This gang was the first stick up crew founded in the Alexandra Park Co-op Housing projects and was responsible for hundreds of bank robberies and hold ups across Ontario during the 1970's and 1980's. The Dirty Tricks Gang were given their name by police because of the underhanded tactics they would use to pull off heists and allude capture. They selected banks and credit union branches that gave them an excellent chance of escaping. They often stole a van for their getaway, and loaded it with the devices used to throw into the path of pursuing police cars. They also used state-of-the-art communications equipment and posted lookouts that could call off a planned robbery at the first sign of police presence. The mastermind of this gang, Ricky Atkinson, is the second of five children of famed housing activist Sonny Atkinson, former president of the Alexandra Park Tenants Association and has served 16 years in various prisons in Ontario. It is believed this gang set the foundation for the following generations in what would later be known as the Project Originals gang. The "Dirty Tricks" gang members were an elite crew of men, known as BOCOG's: Black Organized Crime Original Gangsters. It should be dually noted that in the Metro Toronto Police Museum located at their headquarters, there is in fact an exhibit which displays some of the dirty tricks used by the gang: prosthetics, hair color, grease paint, scanner, binoculars, wig, balaclava, score book (diary), wooden boards studded with nails, sections of garden hose studded with nails.