Entries in heist (7)


Bumbling Thief Sought in $30k Coin Heist

ABC News(TACOMA, Wash.) -- A Tacoma, Wash., coin shop owner says he’s close to finding out who broke into his store on Sunday, stealing $30,000 worth of coins. The suspect wasn’t exactly an accomplished thief, leaving a trove of clues behind, including picture-perfect views of his face on multiple security cameras.

Since the surveillance video from the burglary was released to the media, American Rare Coin and Collectibles owner Ray Brandt says he’s had four unrelated calls giving him the same man’s name, which he turned over to police.

In the store’s crystal-clear surveillance video, the burglar is seen sawing through the roof, then climbing down a rope tied to a satellite dish to make his way inside. The video shows a man’s unmasked face clearly has he runs straight for an expensive coin display. The man shoves coins into a bag, leaving behind fingerprints, supplies on the roof and even a bag of coins, worth another $30,000, according to Brandt.

“I am so hopeful because I need my inventory back so bad. It’s taken half my life to gather,” Brandt told ABC News. “A lot of the coins that are missing are very hard sought-after coins.”

Brandt said he didn’t think the suspect had ever been in his store, but he did run to a private showroom where only regular customers are taken.

A spokesperson for the Tacoma Police said investigators were having a confusing time dealing with the case because the owner told the investigators he wasn’t able to give them a surveillance tape, yet the police department saw the tape on local news stations later that night.

“He said he wasn’t able to supply any tape and then he got a hold of his newspaper and gave it to them,” said Tacoma Police Department public information officer Loretta Cool. Tacoma police say Brandt finally handed over the tape yesterday, though the burglary happened last Sunday.

“The nine security cameras from Costco was the best investment I’ve ever made in my life,” Brandt said.

Brandt said he wants the suspect apprehended as soon as possible and hopes he will be able to retrieve his coins.

“My hope is to get this person off the streets, he doesn’t just hurt my store, but hurts my family. I’ve worked hard for everything I’ve gotten in my life,” Brandt said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Agents Find Guns, No Art at Alleged Gangster's Connecticut Home

Joseph Devenney/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- None of the priceless masterpieces from a record art heist were found Thursday in a search by the FBI on the property of an alleged mobster, according to his attorney.

Authorities conducted the search Thursday on the property of Robert Gentile, 75, who was arrested in February on federal drug charges. The warrant allowed ground-penetrating radar to be used so agents could search for weapons, said A. Ryan McGuigan, Gentile's attorney. The search Thursday yielded two guns.

"Nobody cares about [the guns]. What they were looking for was stolen art," McGuigan told ABC News at the end of the day.

The search warrant marked the second time the FBI had searched Gentile's property. Both warrants were for weapons, McGuigan said, because the statute of limitations on the art theft case had expired.

Among the masterpieces stolen more than 20 years ago were works by Degas and Rembrandt.

The U.S. attorney's office declined to comment Thursday on the search or what connection Gentile could have to the heist.

Gentile was arrested on federal drug charges after he allegedly sold prescription drugs to an undercover agent. McGuigan said he believes it was a ruse to allow authorities to search Gentile's home, because the statute of limitations on the art heist had expired.

The heist has remained at the top of the list of the FBI's Art Recovery Squad. The works are worth an estimated half a billion dollars, making it the largest art theft in history, according to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

Twenty-two years later, empty frames continue to hang in the museum as placeholders for the works the museum hopes will one day be returned.

Gentile pleaded not guilty to federal weapon and gun charges last month and is being held without bond.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


$500M Art Heist: Agents Search Mobster's Home

Joseph Devenney/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Law enforcement agents are digging in the yard of an alleged mobster who authorities believe may have information regarding an unsolved $500 million art heist that reads like a movie plot.

Among the masterpieces stolen more than 20 years ago were works by Degas and Rembrandt.

Authorities conducted a search Thursday on the property of Robert Gentile, 75, who was arrested earlier this year on federal drug charges. The warrant allowed ground penetrating radar to be used so agents could search for weapons, said A. Ryan McGuigan, Gentile's attorney.

"Realistically are they looking for guns? No, they're looking for the art [in his yard]," McGuigan said, pointing out that any sort of metal would suffer from corrosion underground.

The U.S. Attorney's office declined to comment on the search or what connection Gentile could have to the heist.

Gentile pleaded not guilty to federal weapon and gun charges last month and is being held without bond.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Fugitive in 20-Year-Old UK Heist Caught in Missouri

Photodisc/Digital Vision/Thinkstock(OZARK, Mo.) -- A former British security guard suspected of absconding with a van containing $1.5 million in a 1993 heist has been arrested in Missouri after it was discovered that he was living with his family in the U.S. under an assumed name for 15 years.

Edward John Maher, known in the U.K. as "Fast Eddie" since he vanished after driving off with $1 million pounds, was apprehended by the FBI and police in Ozark, Mo. on Wednesday, according to FBI agent Josh Nixon.

"Our investigation with Ozark Police Department pretty much determined he was likely the fugitive," Nixon told the Springfield News Leader. "He was fully cooperative when he was confronted."

Once apprehended, Maher, who was working as a cable installer and living in the tiny town of Ozark, was positively identified as the suspect in the 1993 robbery where he drove off with cash in a van that had been parked in front of a Lloyds Bank in Felixstowe, England. Investigators at the time reportedly found two abandoned getaway cars nearby.

The news media in Britain has called "Fast Eddie's" 1993 robbery "the perfect crime."

Maher had reportedly been living under a brother's name, Michael Maher, but also used several other phony names, including Stephen King, while in the U.S.

The man's true identity was discovered after Ozark police were given an anonymous tip that the culprit in the infamous heist was living in the area, according to Nixon. Ozark police's investigation determined that the man might be Maher, but they turned to the FBI for assistance with the investigation.

Police in Suffolk, England, have been able to determine that after the robbery, Maher flew to Boston, where he met up with his girlfriend and young son, the News Leader reported. Nixon told the paper that it's likely Maher and family members moved frequently before arriving in Ozark two years ago.

The Feds found four illegal firearms in the home where he was apprehended. Several other people were inside the home, and were soon identified as family members, Nixon said.

Maher was charged with being an illegal alien in possession of firearms and was turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, where he is being held without bond.

He appeared before a federal judge Thursday afternoon for his initial appearance in the gun case. His next court appearance is Feb. 22 and he will be held by the U.S. Marshal's Service until then. It's unclear if he has been charged in the U.K. for the nearly 20-year-old robbery. 

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Philadelphia Jewel Heist Caught on Tape

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(PHILADELPHIA) -- Philadelphia police have released a tape they believe shows a man breaking into a woman’s apartment and leaving with jewelry valued at $875,000.

The alleged burglary took place late in the morning on Jan. 18, in a building on central Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Square. The suspect can be seen exiting the scene via elevator. Police believe he then left the building the same way he entered, through a construction zone on an adjacent street.

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“He knew where he was going and we believe he had prior knowledge. This was not a random act,” said Lt. Pat Dougherty of the Philadelphia Police told ABC News affiliate WPVI-TV.

WPVI reports that the haul consisted mostly of gold rings and the assorted jewelry collection of a woman living on the building’s 29th floor.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Suspected Gunman in Brazen Bellagio Casino Heist Arrested

(LAS VEGAS) -- Las Vegas police have arrested a suspect in a brazen casino heist, in which a man wearing a motorcycle helmet stole $1.5 million in chips at gunpoint from a craps table at the Bellagio Hotel in December.

Anthony Carleo, 29, was arrested Wednesday night on charges of robbery, burglary and drug trafficking according to the Las Vegas Metro Police.

Police said the trafficking charge resulted from the discovery of narcotics while investigating the robbery.

Carleo, the son of Las Vegas Municipal Court Judge George Assad, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, was arrested after meeting with undercover officers allegedly to sell the chips stolen in the heist.

He was arrested at a room in the Bellagio, staying as a guest in the very hotel he is accused of robbing, the paper reported. Police also executed a search warrant of the judge's home.

The Dec. 14 robbery at one of the strip's most famous casinos took place at just after 5 a.m., when a suspect dressed in black and wearing a helmet covering his face parked his motorcycle outside the casino and walked straight to the craps tables while brandishing a gun.

The robbery took less than three minutes, police said, before the gunman ran out of the casino and fled on his bike.

Carleo is being held on $15,000 bail, according to a search of the Clark County Detention Center's digital records, and will likely appear in court Friday.

Days before the Bellagio heist, a gunman wearing a motorcycle helmet and carrying a pistol robbed the poker room cashier at the Las Vegas Suncoast Casino, netting almost $20,000 in chips.

Police said at the time they believed the incidents were linked but there has been no word on whether Carleo will be charged for that crime as well.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


NYPD Looking for Suspect in Elaborate New York City Art Heist 

Photo Courtesy - EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A thief in New York City has pulled off an elaborate art heist, allegedly cutting through an apartment wall and stealing several pieces of rare art, jewelry and even the surveillance camera that likely recorded the theft.

The New York Police Department is asking for the public's help in locating the thief, who they say committed the crimes sometime over Thanksgiving weekend, between Nov. 24 and Nov. 28.

The owner of the artwork has been identified by the New York Post as 49-year-old Robert Romanoff, the president of the the Nebraska Meat Corp., a successful meat distributor based in New Jersey.

Calls made to Romanoff by ABC News were not immediately returned, but according to public records, Romanoff owns the building on Ganesvoort Street in Manhattan's trendy Meatpacking District, where the burglary is said to have occurred.

"An unknown suspect broke through a hallway wall into the apartment and removed artwork, watches and other jewelry," said a NYPD spokesman. "A video recorder attached to surveillance cameras inside the apartment also was taken."

Among the artwork were limited edition pieces by Andy Warhol, Roy Lichenstein and Carl Fudge. Warhol's "The Truck" and "Superman" were both stolen, as was a set of eight signed prints by Warhol, known as "Camouflage."

Lichenstein's "Thinking Nude" and "Moonscape," as well as Fudge's "Live Cat" oil painting were also taken.

According to the Post, the jewelry stolen included Rolex and Cartier watches. The total value is reported to be around $750,000. 

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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