Is Kaleidoscope’s SLS a Real Security Company? Was Bonds Really Stolen?

Netflix’s ‘Kaleidoscope’ is a heist thriller that takes an unusual path to tell a captivating story to the audience. It follows a man named Ray Vernon, who comes up with a daring plan to steal billions of dollars in bearer bonds from SLS, a place considered to be the safest in the world when it comes to storing your most prized possessions. It is owned by Roger Salas, who shares history with Ray, which is one of the reasons why the thief has targeted him. While he is driven by revenge, Ray soon discovers that the plan to rob SLS won’t be so easy, especially when one thing after another starts to go wrong. The realistic nature of the story might make you wonder how much of it is true, especially when it comes to places like SLS. Is it a real place? Let’s find out. SPOILERS AHEAD

SLS is a Fictional Place

While ‘Kaleidoscope’ takes inspiration from a real incident, it is not a real story, which means that SLS is also a made-up place in the show. It is started by Roger Salas, who used to be a thief, often executing plans with Ray Vernon. When one of their heists goes terribly wrong, Roger decides to change his ways and goes straight. He cleans himself up and after more than a decade or so ends up starting a company of his own where he offers to protect the stuff of his clients, in this case, undeclared bearer bonds.

The conception of the place and how it must look came from Eric Garcia. There is a lot of history, especially when it comes to the connection between the characters, that comes into play during the heist. Though the creation of the entire place right down to its heavily secure vault was created from scratch, the creators of the show would surely have given a lot of thought to how things work at places like these. It is not confirmed which one they used as the inspiration for SLS, but there are a couple of such places that have fallen victim to elaborate heists.

The plot of ‘Kaleidoscope’ takes inspiration from the incident that happened during Hurricane Sandy where more than seventy billion dollars in undeclared bearer bonds were lost from the vault of the Depository Trust and Clearing Corp when it was completely flooded. The heist in the Netflix series also relies on a violent storm where the vault is flooded by thieves. It is possible that the makers of the show turned towards DTCC to gain some insight into how the water could have entered the facility and led to the loss of so much wealth, especially considering that this is the place that’s supposed to have kept its contents safe under any circumstances.

Speaking of the safe vaults that were robbed of millions, two other heists come to mind. In 1987, the Knightsbridge Security Deposit in Knightsbridge, England was robbed of an estimated sixty million pounds worth of contents from the safety deposit boxes. The robbery was committed by an Italian man who had already built a reputation for himself when it comes to heists. However, much like the crew of Ray Vernon in ‘Kaleidoscope’, things didn’t end so well for these robbers as well.

Another such robbery took place in 1975 when about thirty million dollars worth of stuff was stolen from the Bonded Vault Company in Providence, Rhode Island. What is said to have made things more complicated is that it allegedly served as the bank for the Patriarca crime family. Believing that no one would want to steal from the mob bosses and land in trouble led the security to loosen up. While SLS in ‘Kaleidoscope’ doesn’t go lax with its security, it does hold the bonds of the people that one shouldn’t mess with. Considering all this, it looks like while SLS is a fictional place, the writers of the show developed it with some real places in mind.

Read More: Is Netflix’s Kaleidoscope Based on a True Story?