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The famous Loomis Fargo heist remains one of the largest robberies in the United States of America. Its perpetrators carried out the robbery so well that one would never have taught they would be caught. There has also been a lot of conflicting stories about what really transpired as different people, as well as filmmakers, have shared their own versions of the record-breaking bank robbery. Read on as we bring to light the true story of David Ghantt and the Lomis Fargo heist.
How David Ghantt Planned The Loomis Fargo Heist
The Loomis Fargo bank robbery began on October 4th, 1997 in Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S.A. David Ghantt who worked at the Charlotte branch of Loomis Fargo & Co. as the vault supervisor was the mastermind of this popular heist. However, it was later revealed that he hatched the plan alongside his co-worker and girlfriend, Kelly Campbell who later introduced him to Steve Chambers whom she said could help them carry out their plan. The trio took a couple of months to revise and develop the plan.
On the scheduled day of the planned robbery towards evening, Ghantt reportedly moved $17.3 million from the company vault into a waiting van. From the company premises, David proceeded to the planned meeting point he and his co-conspirators had decided on. It was also revealed that David took an initial sum of $50,000 and left the remaining money with Steve Chambers for safekeeping. Ghantt’s plan was to seek refuge in faraway Mexico and then return when the heat of the robbery would have subsided.
Events That Led to The Arrest of David Ghantt
A day after David Ghantt and his partners had executed their plans, employees of Loomis Fargo came to work only to discover that they could gain access to the vault. They immediately alerted the security agencies who responded rapidly. The FBI who took the lead in the investigations placed Ghantt on top of their list of possible suspects. They had two solid grounds for making Ghantt the prime suspect – his sudden disappearance and a CCTV footage of him carrying large wads of bills out of the vault.
The company van was recovered two days after the robbery alongside $3.3 million left behind by the culprits. Some reports indicated that the cash left behind were the ones the robbers could not fit into their getaway vehicle.
The FBI also got another lead when Steve Chambers and his wife were on multiple occasions seen making large cash deposits at different banks. It was even reported that they bought a new well-furnished house and two brand new vehicles. FBI’s suspicion of the couple heightened when they tracked one of Steve’s phone call to Ghantt. It did not take the detectives assigned to the case long to establish the connection between the three accomplices. They decided to place a wiretap on Chamber’s phone to listen in on any future conversations he may have with Ghantt. The initiative paid off as they were able to uncover a plot by Steve Chamber to get rid of David Ghantt owing to the latter’s incessant demand for money.
Armed with the information of Ghantt’s whereabouts, the FBI decided to partner with the Mexican law enforcement to ensure he was captured. The man was nabbed by policemen in Cancun Mexico on March 1, 1998, and the two other conspirators, Steve and Kelly, were picked up by the FBI the next day. The criminal investigation conducted by the FBI led to the recovery of 88% of the money stolen and arrest of an additional 21 individuals, including Steve’s wife.
The Aftermath of The Loomis Fargo Robbery
The trio alongside other accomplices who aided and abetted the crime was charged on March 11, 1988, for crimes ranging from bank larceny to money laundering. Ghantt received a seven and half-year sentence while most of his other accomplices were released on parole.
The multi-million dollar heist was widely publicized in the 90s and the story was used as an adaptation for several films. One of such was Masterminds, a popular American comedy film released sometime in 2016. To the surprise of many, Ghantt was spotted at the movie’s premiere.