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An Old Lake Tahoe Casino Idea Worked Better Than A Diversion Safe?

Updated March 15, 2012.

I believe that diversion safes are one of the best ways to protect small valuables, jewelry, and money. Diversion safes, also referred to as concealment devices are safes made of, or made to look like common household items for the purpose of concealing valuables. The whole idea is to keep important things that may draw the attention of a thief in the most regular of items and in places where they would least expect.

I think I have found a one time situation that worked better than a diversion safe could.

I was a young police cadet 42 years ago, but I remember this true story like it was yesterday, because while my parents vacationed in South Lake Tahoe, Barney’s Casino Teen Center is where I stayed.

It happened in 1968, near Zepher Cove, in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. Richard Chartrand, owner of Barney’s Casino at State Line South Lake Tahoe, was killed while backing out of his home driveway.

The professional style car bomb that exploded, killing him, sent the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department into a deep investigation that is still ongoing. They still have all of the evidence from the crime scene, including the car.

I remember information coming through our police department, causing rumors that this was a mob hit, because of missing money.

The building that housed Barney’s Casino back then, has been owned by several people since and it wasn’t until this week that construction crews found a hidden 4 foot safe under a stairway, completely sealed off by metal studs and Sheetrock.

KCRA TV in Sacramento, California, reports that the current owner of the building, Mike Laub, was remodeling when demolition crews found the safe. Prior owners have been contacted and none had knowledge that the safe was there all those years.

Since the safe’s discovery, people have been offering  large sums of money for the safe as is. Others have tried to break into the facility where it is stored. Lock smiths have offered to crack the safe, but the safe has yet to be opened.

Since no owner of the building admits to knowledge of the safe, investigators think it might have belonged to murder victim Richard Chartrand.

So on September 5th, or 6th, 2011, Google Plus reportedly wants to live stream the opening of the safe, and the Oprah Network producers will be filming it for a show called Found. The Oprah Network also will supply the lock smiths.

Is the Major brand safe a big find or was this a convenient way to dispose of it.

We will update you as soon as we know.

See the KCRA 3 report.

 

Now for the update March 15 2012:

A Lake Tahoe Local produced a YOUTUBE entry by FabulosLakeTahoe at http://www.tahoenetworktv.com/. He interviewed a former casino bus driver that claims he is probably the last person to be in the safe. The safe was discovered behind a sealed wall at the former Barney’s Casino during new construction. The former driver said that he removed bags of old casino chips from the safe and took them to the former owner before the safe was walled in by new owners. You can see the YouTube entry below.

 

 

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