October 4, 1997: Second-Largest Cash Robbery Is Pulled Off In American History

The $17.3 million heist served as inspiration for the movie, Masterminds, starring Zach Galifianakas. 

By Eric Shorey

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On October 4, 1997, the second-largest cash robbery in American history (at the time) occurred. The total amount stolen was $17.3 million in cash from a regional office vault of a Loomis, Fargo & Co. Bank in Charloette, North Carolina.

The robbery was pulled off by vault supervisor David Scott Ghantt, his married girlfriend Kelly Campbell (a former Loomis co-worker), Steve Chambers, his wife Michelle Chambers, Michael Gobbies, and four other conspirators. Eight people were directly involved in the heist and 16 others were found to have helped. Eighty-eight percent of the stolen money was recovered.

The thieves used a company van to take the money ($11 million of which was in $20 bills), later transferring the cash to an armored car and private vehicles.

Upon their arrests, all but one of the defendants pleaded guilty. They received sentences ranging from probation to 11 years in prison.

The crime was the inspiration for the film Masterminds, which starred comedians  Zach Galifianakis, Kristen Wiig, Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis.


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