crime The True Story Of A Pizza Delivery Guy, A Bomb Collar, And A Bank Robbery  

Amanda Sedlak-Hevener
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On August 23, 2003, Pennsylvania resident Brian Wells delivered his last pizza. At the location of his delivery, Wells allegedly was coerced into strapping a bomb around his neck with instructions to complete four tasks in exchange for his life. The first objective was to rob a bank, which Wells tried to comply with. It was not meant to be one of those non-violent bank robberies, as the people who strapped the bomb on Wells gave him a homemade shotgun. However, Wells didn't shoot anyone before police stopped his getaway car. Wells begged for help as he was being handcuffed before the bomb went off, killing Wells on the spot.

Police were stunned by this bank robbery turned collar bomb heist. But what was even more shocking were all the twists and turns discovered after Wells's death. Brian Douglas Wells, a high-school dropout, skyrocketed into the media spotlight as the collar bomb pizza delivery man. Read on below to find out the crazy facts about how he ended up strapped with an explosive around his neck. 

He Was In On It, Until The Bomb Was No Longer Fake


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Wells helped plan the burglary, and was by all accounts a willing part of the plan, until he was told that the bomb was real - not fake, as he'd been led to believe that it would be. They gave him a cover story to tell the police, instructing him to say that he was a hostage and that three black men forced the collar on him. The people who strapped the bomb on him believed the police would think Wells was an innocent victim and that Wells would conceal the identities of his real accomplices. 

However, none of this worked out as planned. As soon as Wells learned the bomb was real, he tried to back out. His accomplices held him at gunpoint, even firing a shot in the air as a warning to Wells, before strapping the bomb around his neck.

He Worked As A Pizza Delivery Man For Nearly 30 Years


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After dropping out of high school, Wells spent much of his adult life delivering pizzas. In fact, he did it for nearly 30 years. He had been working for Mama Mia Pizza-Ria for the last ten years in Erie, PA. His co-workers and bosses described him as a reliable, hardworking employee, which made what came next even more baffling. Around 1:30pm on August 28, 2003, he delivered an order to a phony address that turned out to be a TV transmission tower. There, the bomb was placed around his neck and he received his instructions. Later on, police went to the address and combed the scene, finding Wells' footprints and the tire tracks from his car, but little else. 

He Carried A Wooden Cane That Had Been Turned Into A Shotgun


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Photo: Public Domain/Wikipedia

When the police searched Wells' car, they found a wooden cane that had been turned into a gun. Reportedly, this was given to him by his co-conspirators, just in case things went south when he was in the bank. Wells carried the homemade weapon with him while robbing the bank. He handed a note to the teller, demanding $250,000, but the teller told him they didn't have access to that amount. Wells ended up walking out with a little less than nine grand. 

The Bomb Was Professionally Made, But Consisted Of A Number Of Different Objects


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Photo: Public Domain/Wikipedia

Police investigators and bomb experts examined the collar bomb after the incident, and came to the conclusion that it was professionally made. The bomb was on the clasp of the collar, which meant that it would detonate with any attempt to remove it. There were also fake wires attached, designed to confuse anyone trying to disarm it. Several kitchen items were also part of the design, as well as a countdown timer. Essentially, it was two pipe bombs connected by a bunch of extemporaneous pieces and attached to a collar.