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The True Story of Loomis Fargo 'Hillbilly Heist'

Kent D. Johnson / Observer file photo

Monday, April 10, 2017

This year marks the 20th anniversary of one of the biggest robberies in U.S. history: the $17 million "hillbilly heist" at a Charlotte Loomis Fargo facility. Mike Collins speaks with Jeff Diamant, a former Charlotte Observer reporter who chronicled the heist, and we hear from the caper's "mastermind."

Originally aired Sept. 28, 2016

In 1997, David Ghannt, a Loomis Fargo employee, robbed the armored car company's facility in west Charlotte. Ghantt wheeled $17.5 million out of the vault and into a van. It was later dubbed the "hillbilly heist" because of the wacky, bizarre details of the case.

Jeff Diamant, who was a crime reporter at The Charlotte Observer at the time, covered the case, turning the odd caper into a book, Heist: The Oddball Crew Behind the $17 Million Loomis Fargo Theft. The case received the Hollywood treatment in 2016 with the film, "Masterminds," with North Carolina native Zach Galifianakis portraying a more cartoonish version of Ghantt.

Mike Collins talks with Jeff Diamant to relive the heist, and we hear an interivew WFAE's Sarah Delia conducted with David Ghantt.