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tv   Heist  MSNBC  December 29, 2013 3:00am-4:01am PST

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a suburban chicago bank held up at gunpoint. >> 911, what is your emergency? >> bank has been robbed. >> by a pair of robbers dressed as if they stepped out of a hollywood movie. >> had a mask on, the scream mask on. >> i wanted to make sure i heard what she was saying, so i had to ask her to verify, scream-type mask? >> turns out these robbers, one an x-rated 5:actress, are mimicking a different movie. can these nuns on the run get the cash? and then, passion for a woman drives a north carolina
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man to commit one of the biggest armored car heists of all time. >> it was almost the perfect storm for him to pull off this heist on that particular day. >> fuelled by frustration and desire, he escapes with $17 million, all for one magical kiss. >> pretty expensive kiss. ♪ may 29th, 2011, it's the sunday before memorial day in the chicago suburb of palos heights, illinois. few people know it, but the tcf bank located at the busy intersection of 127th street and ridgeland avenue is open for
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business. just before the bank closes at 2:00 p.m., a silver four-door chevrolet quickly pulls up in front. two figures dressed in black make their way in the front door. it's obvious these two are not here for banking business. they are here to rob the place. their faces are covered in masks, the kind seen in a hollywood movie about bank robbers. this tcf branch is unusual. a throwback to small town banking. there is no bullet proof glass between the tellers and patrons. there are no guard stations or even security guards. it's located in a upper middle class neighborhood. because it's a holiday weekend,
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the bank is flush with cash for those customers needing extra money for memorial day celebrations. it's a perfect target for two brazen robbers hell bent on stealing a fortune. detective jerry watka of the palos heights police department has seen this bank hit multiple times during his 20 years living and working in town. he knows it's an easy target. >> as you can see, there's a major intersection close by, 127th street and ridgeland avenue. it provides a lot of traffic, lot of distractions, where if someone was conducting surveillance or whatever else they were doing, they don't stick out as much. provides them cover, if you will. >> the two figures enter the bank through the front door brandishing handguns. one locks the door while the other orders bank employees to
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take them toward the vault. >> someone had locked the doors from the interior so nobody could come in during the robbery. they also went over to the drapes in the drive through and closed the drapes. >> the bank employees are now at the mercy of the thieves. with guns pointed at their heads, the employees lead the robbers into the vault. once there, the thieves remove as much currency as they can fit into their black duffel bag. >> when they had the tellers at the vault, they kept telling them not to look at them. one of the robbers had put one of the handguns up to one of the teller's heads. one of the girls kept looking up at one of the robbers. he had grabbed her by the hair and threw her to the ground. >> they tie their hands behind their backs with clear plastic zip ties. they use plastic zip ties to
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avoid detection. the ties can be purchased anywhere. the robbers restrain their victims without leaving any meaningful evidence for police. after loading currency into their bag, more than $120,000 in 20s, 50s, and 100s, the two thieves leave one teller on the ground and take the second teller with them out of the vault. >> at the time it's going on, you don't know if the guns are real or fake, what the intentions of the people are. you're getting thrown around, zip tied, and led away. it's quite a terrifying experience for them. >> the heist takes just over four minutes. the two perpetrators leave, heading out the south entrance of the building to their escape vehicle. they leave the teller they brought with them just inside the door, still tied up. but what the robbers don't know is that the other teller has freed her hands from the zip
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tie. she now rushes to the phone to call 911. >> 911, what is your emergency? >> tcf bank on 127th and ridgeland just got robbed. >> do you have a description of the offender? >> the most important information, there was a weapon used, what they were wearing, what they looked like, if they left in the car, the make/model of the vehicle, license plate, if you can. which direction they left, so the officers responding can either start heading that way to cut them off if they are no longer off, that it's safer for the officers when they get on scene. >> one is a female and the other is a male. >> white, black, hispanic? >> black. >> both wearing masks? >> yes, mask on, like the scream mask on. >> she said that they were wearing scream-type masks. i never taken any calls when anyone has used those type of masks. i've taken them when they used ski-type masks, so i wanted to
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make sure i heard what she was saying, i had to verify, scream-type masks? >> scream costume? >> scream costume. >> i know that stuff happens, but i thought it was a little extreme. scre ski mask is one thing. >> the thieves get away with more than $120,000 in cash. coming up, these hollywood-style bandits baffle police, because like in the movies, their masks perfectly disguise who they are. >> of all the towns and all the cities, you find a three-mile town and use the movie "the town" and bring us national news coverage. even when we're apart. [ male announcer ] in stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy and more, swanson makes holiday dishes delicious. a 3d white smile with crest 3d white toothpaste. it removes up to 90% of surface stains in just 5 days. unleash your smile
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it's memorial day weekend 2011 in palos heights, illinois, a sleepy suburb outside of chicago. as employees prepare to close the tcf bank, two masked thieves
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enter through the front door, make a beeline for the vault, and leave with more than $120,000 in cash. the bank teller gives the police a description of the getaway car, a silver four-door chevrolet. about half a mile away, officer brent dreger is driving through a palos heights subdivision. >> it was raining. we'd been slow all day, so i tried to hit the side streets to make a presence in the neighborhood. >> a slow day becomes memorable when he realizes how close he is to the scene of the crime. >> nobody was outside. i didn't know if they were still inside, if there were hostages inside or what was going on. i waited for updates from dispatch. >> detective jerry watka is out of town for memorial day weekend, but he's on call and gets to the bank as quickly as he can. >> when i got to the scene, the tellers were still at the facility. the officers had set up a
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perimeter and basically blocked everything off to preserve the crime scene. >> palos heights police call in the illinois state crime scene investigation team to see if any clues had been left at the bank. at first glance, detectives believe the robbers planned the heist perfectly and made it impossible for witnesses to identify them by wearing full body costumes that conceal who they are, with eerie masks straight out of a hollywood movie. >> during the 911 call, one of the tellers described them as costumes from the movie "scream." we later determined after watching the video that it was, in fact, from another movie. >> that movie is from "the town," which had been released the previous year. it's a movie about bank robberies and features a scene where robbers wear the very same masks. >> it's a molded mask that goes over the head and conceals the head. there are openings for the eyes that do reveal more than the
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eyes. the mask itself is an elderly face. she's wearing a nun habit. >> it's only a matter of time before someone committed a crime that mimicked this movie. >> sometimes the best laid plans turn out to be the worst ideas. >> the more steps they are going to take to commit the robbery is more opportunities for them to make mistakes or not be as smart as they thought they were, and that enabled us to start putting clues together. >> detective watka analyzes the security camera footage, hoping it will result in a lead. >> touching certain services, could there be dna, fingerprints, did they injure themselves, what hand are they carrying stuff in, what's the strong hand, what's the weak hand? >> one thing the security footage reveals is the sheer terror the bank employees experience. >> this is one screen where the
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gun is pointed at the victim teller's head. one thing that's probably going through her mind, am i going to be shot in the head, fingers within the trigger guard. everybody's making snap decisions, and sometimes they make the wrong decisions and, obviously, these decisions last a lifetime. >> while detective watka looks at security camera footage, the crime scene is examined by illinois state police crime scene investigators. crime scene services finds two pieces of physical evidence that may help track the thieves. >> there were some zip ties that were left by the offenders. the tellers were zip tied, their hands together, one of the zip ties were left at the scene. different sizes, different kinds, different colors. small pieces of evidence, but we didn't know if they touched the zip ties prior to putting gloves on, we'd have dna. >> also, a big break, an impression from one of the
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robber's shoes is found on top of the counter, left behind when the robber jumped over it. >> the robbers jumped in, hopped counters, knew where the employees were, knew how to shut the drapes on the drive-through windows. they were familiar with the place. >> they screamed at the tellers to only open certain drawers in the vault. those drawers contain only large bills. the drawers they leave alone are filled with large currency and loose change. they know exactly which drawers to empty. realizing the robbers must have done prior surveillance, detective watka learns a detail from employees that breaks the case open. >> three hours before the actual bank robbery itself, a male walked in to activate the box. hey, just you two today? >> detectives scan through surveillance footage of the bank's parking lot to see what
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kind of vehicle the man drove and find he didn't drive a vehicle at all. >> there's an opening here between these two large evergreen trees and the camera mounted on the rear of the bank, this is the first time we see the suspect from about the shoulder up. he's walking this way. bear in mind it's raining out and it would be unusual for anybody to want to walk to the bank in the rain. we view him on video, he's walking this way, which is somewhat odd. as he gets here to the driveway, this is where he begins to walk towards to the back of the bank. we see him on video at this point and we follow him on video and this is where he initially walks up to the bank. >> the manme wants to check out safety deposit box. to do that, he must sign in on a piece of paper that records everyone that retrieves a box. >> he put his real name on there
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and checked his safety deposit box. we believe he could be involved in the robbery. we definitely want to i.d. him, find him, see what his deal was, find out why he was walking in the rain to the bank in palos heights that day. >> police find financial records that link the man, 28-year-old lyndon wesley, to a woman named navahcia edwards, age 25. edwards is a former employee of the tcf bank and a chase bank in the same area. >> we learn that through the fbi that she had been caught embezzling between $20,000 and $30,000. she was brought in by the bank investigators and had confessed but agreed to make restitution. she had worked at the bank before. was listed as an associate to the male customer and she had been in some financial trouble in the past. >> edwards is charged with
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theft, but she could escape conviction if she pays the money back. detectives discover in an effort to raise more funds, edwards has a new job. she has an online website advertising her as an adult model and x-rated actress. >> it's not often we're investigating a bank robbery suspect and are an escort. >> police now believe edwards plotted to rob her old bank to pay back her debt and then some. through tracking edwards' credit card purchases, detectives find proof that she bought the nun masks online and the zip ties from a local hardware store. credit card statements also show she rented a silver chevrolet, the same make and model of the getaway car, a week prior to the bank robbery. the fbi obtains a search warrant for the home of the man whom
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they believe is the male robber. they are hoping to find some evidence linking the man to the robbery, but find none. >> we were hoping to find masks, guns, zip ties, receipts, anything like that that could be used to associate him with the robbery. unfortunately, we were not able to find anything at that time. coming up -- with only circumstantial evidence connecting the suspects to the crime, detectives struggle to build an open and shut case. and they need to follow the money. >> in terms of it being an oddity, this would probably rank at the top of all the cases i've ever handled. [ male announcer ] the person who said, "if you love something, set it free"
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[ male announcer ] that's handy. ♪ two armed thieves held up a bank in a chicago suburb on memorial day weekend, but what makes this robbery more notable is not the $120,000 in cash stolen from the bank's vault, it's the masks robbers wore while doing it, nuns masks bought from an online halloween store.
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>> out of all the towns and all the big cities and so forth, you find a three-square-mile town in the midwest to commit this armed robbery at and you use the movie "the town" and brought us national news coverage to small little palos heights. >> but the thieves don't have the professional prowess as the crooks from the movie. their missteps have led detectives to their doors. a search warrant is issued for the home of suspect lyndon wesley, but nothing is found. no cash, guns, or other evidence. suspect navahcia edwards, a part-time adult actress, has been tied to the crime. her credit card records show that she rented the getaway car and purchased the masks. because she's not making enough money as an adult actress, police believe she pulled off the heist to pay back the $20,000 she owes for stealing from a chase bank where she worked. it's that debt that winds up
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getting her arrested. >> she had not made full restitution on the bank embezzling case, we were actively out looking for her. we got the okay if we were to locate her to take her into custody based on the embezzlement case. we found her driving down 294 in a car by herself, they said tell them to go ahead and pull her over and take her into custody. >> but once in custody, navahcia edwards doesn't cooperate. she continues to deny that she's responsible, even after her partner in crime and boyfriend, lyndon wesley, confesses and names her as the instigator. wesley tells authorities that he burned the nuns costumes in a grill. he says they split the money, with some going to put down a deposit on an engagement rink for the two of them. he also says edwards was inspired to pull off the heist
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after watching the movie "the town" two weeks earlier. it's then that authorities change the charge against edwards from her failure to pay back her old employer for the theft of $20,000 to a federal indictment for bank robbery. at trial, navahcia edwards pleads not guilty. her defense attorney claims the testimony of two bank tellers who say they could see edwards' black skin through the eye holes of the mask is wrong. they point to a surveillance image that shows the female's bank robber's arm is white. the defense goes on to claim a white robber used face paint to describe herself as a black person. >> race became an issue here, was it caucasian suspect or african-american, it was just because of this little fabric where the robe came back and the glove exposed part of the skin.
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>> u.s. district judge matthew kennelly decides to settle the matter for himself. >> the judge had put on the mask in his chambers to see, in fact, if he could see any of his own skin. >> when the judge looks in the mirror with a mask on, he says it's obvious he can see his own skin through the eye holes. he believes the testimony of the bank tellers, who says the robbers were african-american. navahcia edwards is found guilty of theft, bank robbery, and conspiracy. police are not surprised edwards is convicted, despite her best efforts to mimic the robbery in a hollywood movie. >> i've been here in palos heights 23 years, and in terms of it being an oddity and unusual, this would probably rank at the top of all the cases i've ever handled. they went to some pretty good extremes to mimic the movie, all the attempts to conceal their identity, construct what drawers to open. what they did was give us more
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leads to find out who they were faster. coming up, the brazen theft of $17 million from an armored car facility, one of the largest heists in history. >> it was probably true that everybody who works at lumos fargo at some point thinks about stealing from the place. ymptoms. new alka seltzer plus-d relieves more symptoms than any other behind the counter liquid gel. oh what a relief it is.
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here's what's happening, a suicide bomber has killed at least 13 people in an attack in a train station in southern russia. about 50 others have been hurt. the bomber is reported to be a woman who detonated herself outside the main entrance. john kerry will return to
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the middle east next week with talks with israeli leaders. and 1.3 million americans are now without unemployment benefits. i'm veronica de la cruz. let's get you back to the program. it's 6:45 p.m., october 4th, 1997, charlotte, north carolina. the loomis fargo & company. this armored car facility houses millions of dollars, and right now, one employee, vault supervisor, david ghantt. >> david started working at the company in 1994 and immediately put him in close contact with massive amounts of money.
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there was no aspect of money handling that he was not part of. >> at the end of the work day, a company trainee leaves, while ghantt stays behind. his wife is expecting him for dinner, but he calls and tells her he will be home late. left alone with millions of dollars in cash, ghantt is trying to work up the nerve to follow through with a plan that will forever change his life. each day, area banks transfer funds to other banks through here. the loomis fargo & company's armored cars act as a conduit for the currency. sometimes millions at a time. >> you'd have vans pulling up all day and dropping money off, taking money back to go to banks. these were typically unmarked vans. you're talking tens of millions of dollars on a million basis. >> to loomis fargo, it's just
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product, just inventory. they pick some up, they drop some off, and in the off hours, they stick it all in the vault. they are putting it on pallets, large sums of it, different methods, bar codes and shrink wrap. >> for months, david scott ghantt had been plotting to make a move. he's in love with a former loomis employee, kelly campbell. she tells ghantt they will hide out together in mexico. each will bring their share of the cash, which could total more than $10 million. they will quietly spend the rest of their lives in love, living off the stolen money. what ghantt doesn't know, is kelly campbell is lying. >> kelly started at loomis fargo in 1996. she was attractive, dirty blond hair, and an attitude that drew him to her. she and david got to know each other when he asked to have a cigarette. if you let me have a cigarette,
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i'll let you be my friend. i don't need anymore friends, but yeah, you can have a cigarette. he liked that attitude. >> after she leaves her job at loomis fargo, they kept in touch. >> kelly would talk with david after she left loomis fargo and it was during these phone conversations that the idea was planted in david's mind. the idea was planted in kelly's mind with conversations with steve chaim chaim pers the previous summer. >> he has a big heist on his mind. >> steven chambers was a burly man around town in gastonia, lincoln county, involved in various scandals in the past, but he was always looking for the next thing to do. he was the one who came up with this idea. he had known that kelly had worked at loomis fargo and that she knew the ins and outs of the building in working there. in 1997, he said, do you think
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it's possible to steal from loomis fargo, do you know anybody who still works there that might be still willing to do that? >> kelly campbell asks david ghantt if the robbery would be something he'd be willing to do. working at the loomis fargo facility every day, earning low pay, and seeing all the money come and go, he considers the ways millions of dollars could change his life. >> kelly campbell put the idea to david's mind that not only did he deserve better, but hkd make it happen. perhaps for the two of them as a couple, so she was the impetus or the push behind it for david. >> david got kind of excited about the prospect of leaving his current wife. he was unhappy in his marriage. the amount of money he was making was $7 or $8 an hour, he was working a lot of overtime and started to see himself as somebody who might be able to
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prove it off. >> ghantt might be the one committing the actual robbery, but steve chambers is the ring leader behind the operation. >> there's a lot in this tale that owes to hollywood depiction of crime. steve chambers was a fan of "reservoir dogs." these thieves do not know each other's names, the reason when the police come to get them later on, they won't be able to identify each other. it was saturday and david worked with a trainee, who was very new to the company and did not know the ropes. david was relying on this. he figured he would tell the employee when it was okay to leave. david at the end of the shift left the door of the vault ajar, normally it would have been closed. the trainee didn't know to ask about this. >> the vault is a fortified gray room. it is rectangular in shape. shelves and file cabinets line its walls with push carts used
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to transport bales of shrink-wrapped money. vans can pull up into the building so those outside the walls can't see the money loaded. ghantt backs up an unmarked company van near the vault entrance and opens the vehicle's back door. >> the idea he was going to take every last cent he could. he reasoned beforehand, it doesn't matter if you're a thief if you take $15,000 or $20 million. it is the act of theft that is going to get you in trouble, as long as there's no violence involved, your sentence is not going to be that different. >> for more than an hour, ghantt loads stacks of cash in the van. some of the cash is on push carts, but much of it is on the shelves and the floor. the security cameras capture it all, but david ghantt plans to remove the tapes before he leaves. the stacks are heavy, and david
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ghantt is not exactly muscular. at 6'1" and 165 pounds, he's in no shape to quickly load the money. each cart holding about $2 million in cash takes ghantt seven to eight minutes to transfer into the unmarked van. >> you could tell he was struggling. imagine just moving over a ton of stone. he was sweating, he was struggling. it took him two hours to load up this truck, and you can see him, he's just wiped out. and in between he keeps getting text pages, right, messages. >> the messages are coming from kelly campbell, who's waiting outside with steve chambers and the rest of the crew. ghantt will not rest until he loads all the money, which takes him until 7:45. now he closes the vault and sets the vault security timer so that the door cannot be opened for more than two days. he takes the vault keys with
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him, as well. before he leaves, ghantt takes the tapes from the two security cameras. he believes this is the only proof that connects him to the crime. >> he knew where both machines were. you could see that all, filming inside and outside the building were being covered by those two machines. what he was unaware of, there was a redundant system that was monitoring a couple of those systems. >> ghantt gets into the driver's seat, starts the van and goes to the building's electronic back gate. all that stands between him and the getaway is the gate's electronic button, but when he presses it, nothing happens. coming up -- with the back gate locked, david ghantt will have to find another way out of the loomis fargo & company facility. >> the gate didn't work, so david panicked. after all, he already committed the crime.
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it's 8:00 p.m., saturday, october 4th, 1997, charlotte, north carolina. loomis fargo vault supervisor david ghantt has just stolen more than $17 million. at the time, it's the second largest cash heist in u.s. history, but david ghantt has a big problem. despite having successfully loaded more than a ton of money into an unmarked van, ghantt cannot get the back gates of the loomis fargo facility open, a flaw in the security system keeps the gates locked. despite his best efforts to force them open, nothing happens. instead, he will have to move the unmarked van to the front gates of the building and will have to move two vehicles blocking that gate in order to get out. lying low just outside are
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ghantt's accomplices, kelly campbell, steve chambers, the ring leader of the plot, and chambers' cousin, scott grant. chambers sends a reluctant scott grant to open the front gate. a few miles away, ghantt pulls the van into the garage of a building, where another accomplice, eric pane, works. this is the next part of their plan. where ghantt gives the van and the money to steve chambers. kelly campbell is supposed to take ghantt to the airport in her car. he gives the keys to the van to steve chambers, gets in kelly campbell's car, and leaves $17 million with a handful of strangers. now steve chambers' cousin, scott, has lost track of which key on ghantt's key ring will open the doors of the van. he will have to sort through dozens of keys to find the right
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one. >> then they went to trying to break into the vehicle using stones and sticks and whatever else they could find on the property, but it's an armored van. bullet proof glass and even if you got in, it was inside a locked cage. unless they had a blow torch, they weren't getting in that truck. >> meanwhile, campbell drives ghantt to the airport in columbia, south carolina, where ghantt believes he will board a flight to mexico. >> they drove through the parking lot, they realized everything in the airport seemed dark. the airport was closed. david was enraged about this. he thought, i'm putting myself at a considerable risk here by stealing this money, at the very least my accomplices could do was buy me an airline ticket. david got on a bus to atlanta, where he was able to get a ticket to new orleans, then he was able to get a ticket to mexico. >> ghantt's accomplices finally open the van after trying nearly half the keys.
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>> it was more cash than any of them could have imagined. they didn't fully understand how much cash was in the loomis facility when they took it. transferring the money from the back of the van, they were putting it in three blue barrels. steve got an idea if they got stopped for speeding or a vehicle stop of any kind, he would look like he was hauling off three barrels of dog food, which in retrospect doesn't make sense, who has three barrels of dog food on midnight on saturday night? based on a lot of time trying to work their way down the currency, when the barrels were full, they left about $3.3 million behind. >> when police and fbi responded to the robbery the next day, the only employee not to show up for work is vault supervisor david ghantt. >> authorities have been looking for 27-year-old david scott ghantt, guard and driver here, who the fbi now consider a suspect. >> david, you know that i love
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you, that your family loves you, my family loves you. we believe that you are the victim here, david, and we stand by you 100%. >> while ghantt's friends and family members plead for his safe return, the stolen money is taken to steve chambers' mobile him in a trailer park in nearby gastonia. >> imagine sitting on $14 million, and you struggle just buying your groceries, so you think having $14 million is going to be great. you still have a logistical problem of sitting on all this cash. what happens when someone breaks in? what happens if the trailer catches on fire? what happens if there's a problem at home and an ambulance comes or the police knock on the door? you can't hide this. >> chambers recruits several friends and family members to open safety deposit boxes at area banks. the new accomplices then stuff the containers full of bills and
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compact hundreds of thousands of dollars in each box. and then, chambers and his wife michelle start spending money like it's going out of style. >> the chambers were amongst the first to come up on the radar as far as those in the area who are spending an awful lot of money and couldn't account for it. >> about three weeks after the crime, he and his wife purchased a house in a wealthy part of the county, kramer mountain. they move from a mobile home to a house he bought for $635,000. michelle bought a very expensive bmw. they were living very large. >> steve and michelle chambers aren't who they are, so they brought things they already owned or stolen, put it into that house. but they added their own touches and decoration to it. >> it isn't how steve and michelle chambers spend the money that tips off police, but the unorthodoxed way michelle
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attempts to deposit the cash. >> she watches tv. she watches movies, and she thinks you come in with briefcases full of cash. she comes in and asks the bank teller, how much do i deposit before i have to fill out one of those government forms? that alone was enough for the bank to go, something's odd about this transaction. they filled out the suspicious activity report and the fbi gets that a short time later. >> michelle makes another mistake that will provide irrefutable evidence. >> we're already following michelle. she's on a routine now hitting these banks on a very specific day, and we happen to be at the branch at the time that michelle was making a deposit, and when she made that deposit, we immediately went behind the teller window after she left and grabbed the straps right off the counter. one of the straps were the initials of a loomis fargo employee that had counted
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currency. that conclusively tied that deposit and that currency to the loomis fargo theft. >> we just needed to find a connection between david scott ghantt and steve and michelle chambers. it was obvious from evidence collected at the scene david scott ghantt was the person who removed the money, but we didn't know if it was by course or his own free will, and once we took a closer look at kelly campbell, stories weren't matching up. >> police identified kelly campbell early on as a suspect. she used to work at loomis fargo, and she is a known acquaintance of david ghantt. fbi agents questioned campbell at her home, but she admits nothing. >> kelly said she hadn't stayed in touch with him, kelly said she wasn't very close to him. we had a conflicting report that said otherwise. we knew something was amiss, something was awry with kelly campbell. coming up, the fbi taps the phone of campbell and chambers and realizes that david ghantt's life is in immediate danger.
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>> we're picking up these phone calls on how they are going to send someone out to kill him. [ toys chattering ] it's filled with new duracell quantum batteries. [ toy meows ] [ dog whines ] [ toy meows ] these red batteries are so powerful... that this year they'll power all the hasbro toys donated to toys for tots. want to help power some smiles? duracell. trusted everywhere. the day building a play set begins with a surprise twinge of back pain... and a choice. take up to 4 advil in a day or 2 aleve for all day relief. [ male announcer ] that's handy. ♪
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loomis fargo vault supervisor david ghantt has helped pull off the second largest cash robbery in united states history, $17 million. >> authorities have been looking for 27-year-old david scott ghantt, guard and driver here, whom the fbi now considers a suspect. >> but fbi agents are hot on the trail of ghantt's accomplices. steve chambers, his wife michelle, and kelly campbell. and they have tracked ghantt to mexico. >> he's got $30,000, which runs out quickly, because he's eating where he wants to eat and spending money the way he wants to, because he thinks $8 million is on its way. >> he's getting occasional cash
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deliveries from a man he knows only as bruno. bruno's real name is michael mckinney, a friend of steven chambers. to transport money to ghantt in mexico and get close enough to ghantt so he could kill him. the funds mckinney brings to mexico are usually between $5,000 and $8,000, much less than what ghantt expects. >> in between delivery he would find himself having to eat grilled cheese sandwiches. he would eat m&ms and listen to the eagles. >> all he knew was kelly campbell wasn't visiting him, any time he would call kelly campbell, some guy would come down that he was uncomfortable and nervous around and he started to become very secretive as to where he was located. >> on the wiretap, fbi agents
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hear david ghantt pleading with kelly campbell to send more money. she says she will, but first she has to know where he is. >> and he says to her, cozumel, and we hear kelly ask him, cozu-who? cozumel. and the plan unhatches very quickly. we're picking up these phone calls on how they are going to send someone to kill him. >> realizing who david ghantt put $17 million in trust in are going to kill him at any moment, the fbi tracks down and arrests david ghantt. >> he called out to me and said, please, tell me you're an fbi agent. david thought he was somebody that he wasn't, and david wanted to be somebody that he wasn't, but david was still david, big dreamer, thought he could pull off one of the greatest heists in the history of the country, but couldn't. >> the following morning, the fbi moves in and arrests the
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heist mastermind, steve chambers. they also arrest his wife, michelle, who has a surprise for the agents when they storm into her mansion. >> steve was already down on the ground being handcuffed by other agents, and michelle was still getting out of bed. at that time, michelle was naked, and that distraction actually caused kind of a danger for us, because right under her pillow, not steve's pillow, was a fully loaded .9 millimeter semiautomatic. >> also arrested, kelly campbell, the temptress of the plot, and more than 20 others who helped chambers hide the money. >> the fbi did a lot for this case, they were able to recover a vast amount of the money in a relatively short period of time. >> took us a week to go to the 20 boxes, open them up, which you'll see loaded with 20s like we suspected. each box filled with 20s would hold anywhere between $600,000
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and $800,000. >> federal agents want to know why david ghantt would risk everything to steal so much money. all because of an unfulfilled love affair with kelly campbell. they got their answer after ghantt is arrested. during his flight from mexico to the united states. >> the question was, what was it about kelly, and i posed it to david, and he looked at me, and he said, you're not going to believe this, but all it took was just one kiss. and i kind of looked at him. he said, no, really, i've only kissed that woman one time, and then he hung his head down low and he said, turns out to be a pretty expensive kiss, don't you think? at that point, i couldn't help but smile, because he was exactly right. not only was that a $17 million kiss, but something that was going to cost him the next decade of his life locked up in prison.
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the aca is here to stay and republicans don't know what to do about it. let's play "hardball." ♪ good evening. i'm michael smerconish in for chris matthews. leading off tonight, the republican vision to kill the affordable care act is itself on life support. after a defeat in october, when republicans followed the cruz wing into a kamikaze mission to shut down the government, there appears little appetite to try anything as brash as full repeal again, at least for now. on top of that the chaos of the law's initial rollout is at least dying down.

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