Episode 04: Coin Thief Pockets $2.4 Million (1994)
1:51PM Jan 18, 2023
light rail transit
Welcome to Just curious media. This is that's crime. I'm Jason Connell.
And I'm Sal Rodriguez.
All right, so we're back for another installment. Another crime, if you will.
Yeah. You know, what's very exciting about this one, Jason is it's the old adage, I used to hear some guys close to me say, how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. And this is the perfect living example of that. That's actually
a really good analogy, I would say. And yeah, this is episode four or covering coin thief pockets. $2.4 million of 1994. And the criminal in this story is Salim Cara. Now I put the year as when this crime was discovered, but it started years before that, we're gonna get into that, of course. So did you ever hear anything about this? Or did I just kind of put this on your radar just the other day?
Well, as we go along, I'll tell you how I know people who have done small levels of this tiny, tiny versions of this, but as far as this particular crime by Celine Cara, never heard of it.
All right. I discovered this through the Edmonton journal. Not that I subscribe or read the Edmonton journal all the time, Sal, I just happen to do some searches for some certain types of crimes because again on that's a crime, we cover all things from misdemeanors to murders, and I was looking for a lighter subject. So I discovered this article, and here's the headline and it grabbed me right away. Light Rail Transit thief stole nearly $2.4 million. One coin at a time.
Yep. All the people that want to abandon hard currency. They're gonna point to stuff like this and go see. You see, this is why everything needs to be digital.
Yeah, Bitcoin for sure. Well, that alone intrigued me and I dug much deeper into the story and figured we have to cover this. The subtitle for the headline was Saleem Cara lugged home $900 A day built white Mud Creek mansion. Now that sounds kind of weird, white Mud Creek. I looked it up. It's absolutely a beautiful neighborhood in the Edmonton region. So kind of like the Beverly Hills of Edmonton
and $900 a day. That's American, right.
Yeah. So there's not a lot of conversions back and forth and our dollars very similar to the Canadian dollar, maybe not back when this was happening. ARVs is probably much stronger, but I'm going to assume they're 10 for tat.
Okay. All right. Well, that's a pretty good amount, that's for sure. I'm kind of focused on the increments because if they say he took home $900 A day to then total 2.4 million. I'm curious how many days that took. So you get 2.4 million divided by $900. That's the calculation I would be interested in.
Well, I know he did this for like 13 years. Wow. It's crazy. He's a
full time employee, I believe.
Yeah. So I was tickled to see that it was from Edmonton journal. And it happened in Edmonton. I've been there. I had a great visit. I don't know if you've ever been or not. But I went there as part of the Edmonton Film Festival. They flew me up there. When they showed strictly background, we were closing film of the festival. It was such an honor the people there were a delight. We had a packed, packed theater, and even rest in peace. Dear friend of mine from the movie, Marvin royal yard, flew up and was a part of that whole experience, part of the q&a. So I have this great memory of Edmonton is show me the city that took me to the largest mall in North America. So I kind of feel like I have a connection there. Sure. So have you been?
No, no, I've never been there was a time when I was a little baby when my mother had the car packed up and she was gonna move to Vancouver after a big fight with my dad. And apparently they got so far as to pack the car literally. And my mother was on her way. And then my dad showed up and pleaded with her. And now here we are still raised in Los Angeles. But no, there was a brief period of time when my family was on its way to Canada. Vancouver specific.
Almost Canadian. Yeah, literally. Yeah, we would not have met. So
that's true. A lot of things would have been different. Well, maybe
we would have met maybe at that Film Festival, you would have moved to Edmonton and you are MC or host and we would have hit it off that I think our paths were destined to meet.
Yeah, I agree with that. And I like that, and I have some great friends in Canada and I definitely have fond feelings about Canada.
So to be very clear, Edmonton is the capital city of the Canadian province of Alberta. And it has spawned many cunning and crafty con artists this coming from the article. I don't know this to be true, but few are as colorful as Saleem Cara, the Ugandan refugee who in 1994 shocked the entire city.
So 1984 is when the case came to public light and when the arrest took place I take it Yes, exactly. Are we going by when the arrest take place cuz sometimes arrest come after a case. Right?
Yeah, but I think that's when it becomes public knowledge and it's truly a crime I guess. have committed something but until you can't sell? Yeah, I don't know. So I've kind of gone with that that has been our marker. And it gives us something to put in the subject. It doesn't even matter, but it gives you a baseline. Because when we did DB Cooper, it's like what the hell was that? So 1971 really came in handy and that's kind of I've just stuck
with it. Not to mention in the case of DB Cooper, no arrest ever.
No arrests never ended yet still open. So you gotta have something. So I put the year it happened, or at least in this matter, the year it came to light.
Sure. And you got the headlines to back it up?
I do. So starting with the background, Cara and his wife or a monk 45,000 Ugandans of East Indian descent, expelled by dictator, Idi Amin, and during his violent reign in 1972. Are you familiar with that whole regime and that timeline, I used
to have a book about famous dictators. And right up there with Pol Pot was Idi Amin of Uganda. So yeah, he goes down in history as a horrible person, I believe.
Yeah, I'm definitely familiar with the name, but I don't know that much about him. Probably for another show, perhaps. But yeah, obviously at exile, current his wife and the couple initially resided in England before moving to Canada in 1980. Now, Cara quickly turned his $38,000 a year job his servicemen job into a real cash cow now, so let me just say he gets this job in 1980 38 grand a year. That's not bad money.
Especially for 1980. Yeah, I live in Canada at that. So I want to know a little more background about him, though. I mean, was he like a mechanic back in Uganda? I mean, how did he even get that job?
Yeah. So these are the holes that unfortunately, we cannot fill. We can only go off for the information we have. And it's a great story to share. Super excited to share with everybody. But yes, unfortunately, it's all we have. But hey, it's still very intriguing. So Carl was hired in 1981 to repair light rail transit fare boxes. And so are you familiar with these types of fare boxes just so we're clear?
What was it like you put the change and go to the turnstile like they do in New York? Right,
exactly. Okay, exactly. That type not like parking meters. I know. There's been some other scams. So it definitely that where you go through the turnstile. And you go on a board and obviously this is before people had passes, and everyone was stolen money constantly. Sure. So he began pilfering coins almost immediately. Now when loonies now so I love this terminology. loonies being the Canadian $1 coin were introduced in 1987. Cara must have thought he hit the jackpot, boasting his take to $900 a day because So prior to that, I guess it was quarters, dimes, nickels, pennies, or other denominations much smaller than $1. And I know from my visit to Canada, I love the loonie. I thought they were super cool. Immediately. We had some it's like, Wait, this is $1. So they were super cool. Coins Really caught out in Canada where the dollar coin here in America never really. I mean, it's been around. It's still around. But you know, it's just not a thing.
Well, the problem with the dollar coins in America, I think people said they were too close. Like the Susan B. Anthony remember that? Oh, yeah. They said that it was too close to the quarter. And that was the problem.
That's very true. And there wasn't there. The second Giulia
Yeah, that really didn't catch on either. The dollar Yeah, so that about the dollar. I think people just liked the $1. Bill too much.
Exactly. And also there was the bigger half dollar. Remember that when we were kids, like in the 70s. It's like much bigger, but they just spaced them out. We're just not a coin culture. Unfortunately, like other European countries aren't definitely Canada. Well, I gotta say, Sal, when I was in Edmonton, beside the loonie, there's a toonie. And that's the $2 coin, which is bigger. And that wasn't introduced until 1996. Because if that had been out there, all bets are off. Cara is making even more bank
when I'm just thinking of Looney Tunes. But this is not the same, right? True
story. They have a loony and a toonie. To this day.
You see why I love Canada? Hilarious. It's the best. Well, some comedian called it America light. America like, I don't know. I like to think that they're like us, but different. Not like a diluted version of us. Just different and better. I like to think,
okay, innocent. Yeah, yes. And a lot of comics. I grew up
thinking Canadian people were nice. I only met a few but that's what I always thought.
Yeah, that's true. So for 13 years, Cara continued to steal and despite a couple of audits and an incriminating videotape he got away with it now so I love to see this incriminating videotape. Oh, yeah,
I like watching hidden camera one of my favorite pastimes watching a YouTube channel called active self protection that shows people getting attacked and then the host tells you what you should have done different and how you should have been facing another way et cetera. They fake
attacks like just for the camera. Are these No no no like, like real
close circuit cameras. Capture and people getting jumped at the gas station and so forth. So the host guides you through like things that should have been different and how you escape those types of situation. Yeah, it's a real interesting YouTube channel. But yeah, I like watching closed circuit TV, as they call it.
Yeah, I would love to see any footage but unfortunately not exist. At least we haven't found it yet. Now many of cars neighbors wondered why a man who lived in a million dollar home in posh white Mud Creek drove a dilapidated 1977 Chevy Malibu, a vehicle that was almost 17 years old when he was finally arrested on September 27 1994. Now Sal, are you familiar with the Chevy Malibu and the 77 at the hat?
Well, I think by the time I started noticing cars, it would have been 80. So yeah, I definitely had some friends whose older brothers had some Malibu's and stuff like that. So yeah,
so now we're getting into the crime, because that was his kind of broad strokes. He was arrested, he did do it for 13 years. But as for the crime cars technique was simple. He would remove the faceplate from the machines. Now keep in mind, he's a servicemen. So he's contracted, that's part of his job to work on these things. So he's taking the faceplate off. And then he would use a magnet attached to a car radio antenna, you know, those big old school car antennas, not the ones we have now. But the old, crazy long silver ones, to reach in the light rail transit fare boxes and extract the coins?
Yeah, so his job was not to empty the machines of coins? No. He was doing another job. The job? Yes. At first, I thought he was the guy who was supposed to empty the coins because I believe that there were some cases in the ballpark about the people you mentioned, parking meters, the guys who empty the changes that are committed, I think some of those guys they found some cases, but as far as Yeah, so he wasn't even doing the change job. He was doing the repair job and then accessing the coins with the antenna. Got it.
Exactly. So another guy comes along who's pulling him out while there was discrepancies and I'm just hypothesizing here. They probably went to those guys. Yeah. Hey, man, your coin collections a little light? Yeah. Meanwhile, oh, Cara is man about
the coin. The coin department is $900 a day short. What's going on with these guys?
Yeah, they're getting canned right and left.
That's great. I mean, you know, it's the old diversion tactic. Right is very much you do a crime, but someone else gets accused of
it. So he would then dump the coins into a leather shaving bag kit and it days in would transfer them from his company vehicle to the trunk of that 1977 Chevy Malibu. So fortunately for car, he almost always work the night shift. And he was almost always alone.
Yeah, without supervision. Nobody looking over his shoulder. Kind of a free for all. Let me tell you this. Since we're talking, I had a friend back in high school, whose dad drove a metro bus in Los Angeles. And he would work the late shift, they would stop about 1112. But he would work the late shift. Right. And he would wind up like at some FAR part of town at 1112 o'clock at night at the routes end at the end of the route, enter the line. And he would have affairs he would have affairs. I'll have affairs.
Yeah. Oh, a fair a FF AR
not a F ar e. But he would like have these clandestine affairs at the end of the bus line that he drove. So yeah, these people that work graveyard shifts, keep an eye out for
they have time to come up with plans like this. So as for depositing these coins because I thought about the sound like okay, it's one thing you've got them and it's an ongoing thing. But what do you do with them? Well, he would take him to his bank and add his bank sow, they would let him use the backdoor to log in his loot. He'd carry in heavy bags of rolled coins totaling five to $10,000 each week. Well,
and yeah, he just told him he had what a vending machine business.
Yeah, no red flags there. So you work for the light rail transit company. But yet you also have this illegal vending machine business going on? Yeah, no suspicions the bank was cool with it. That blows my mind. First of all, never a red flag goes off on that timeline. And then in 1992, Cara opened a $1 million GIC account. Now, do you know what that means? I do not. I didn't either. Look that up an investment account that offers a guaranteed interest rate over a fixed period of time. So now Cora is getting pretty savvy. And he began building his lavish million dollar home. So when I use the word lavish it's really applicable because the immaculate Split Level 5000 square foot mansion in or is it Sal Whitemud Creek featured exterior Gothic columns, light rows, California stucco and cedar shakes. Inside it contain five bedrooms, five bathrooms and indoor fountain, a steam room and a Jacuzzi room. There was also a four car garage, complete with its own carwash and heated driveway.
I liked the carwash
to actually sell this reminds me of the mansion from the jerk, the 1979 Carl Reiner, Steve Martin movie one of my faves, when he just kept getting all these things when he finally made a lot of money in the movie when he came up that invention. And he's going on and on. And when he's writing a letter back home to his mother, and he's like, I remember how much I wanted a backyard with Grecian statues, S shape hedges and three swimming pools. Well, I got that too. And he goes on and on and on. It's like, all these things. Were in cars Minds, Like don't go under the radar don't just get something modest and stash money away in an account. No. So he went all
in, you know, this is similar to Scarface, right, Tony Montana. I mean, if you're going to do something illegal, your number one objective is to not get caught. Exactly. You got to keep a low profile, and you got to get out while the getting's good. So this guy followed none of the rules of crime as far as staying out of jail.
No, absolutely sound just like I said, get something modest. Who knows if his wife works, and then invest in things look like The Millionaire Next Door? Yep. This lavish home for this guy that works as a service men for the light rail company, Sal, it's gonna ring some bells. It's gonna make people look and ask questions.
Yeah, and I just want to mention this before I forget Jason, you know, this whole idea of going to work and stealing a little bit every day. I had friends in high school, they would work at Carl's Jr. or Hardee's or Del Taco. Yeah, it take like $1 or two a day out of the register. They don't really notice 50 cents here a quarter there. Okay, so you know what I do now, I always check my receipts. And there are oftentimes a lot of discrepancies not only in overcharging, that's a whole nother story. Incorrect change, they're supposed to give you $2 back, they give you one hour back, supposed to give you 50 cents back, they only give you 25. So you deal on cash. I like paying things in cash whenever I can. Especially when I buy alcohol, no one should know that you bought alcohol. But I'll tell you this, I always keep an eye on my receipts. I am always aware of the proper change. And I'm constantly having to say, You owe me another dollar. You owe me another 50 cents. I'm sorry, this was the wrong three times a week, I will see this. Yeah, I'm serious. You got to keep an eye up because there are employees on the take.
That's interesting. Good advice. Now, I'm really big about when I go to a store like a drugstore or grocery store. I know what's on sale, I know what is part of my membership discounts. And I will keep an eye on that thing and double check with my receipt. And I'm also really good at restaurants. They will screw up at a restaurant and I will look at that itemized thing prior to paying. So I it's my way. I like your way. And we're both staying on point.
Oh yeah, definitely. You have to be on guard out there because people are on the take. And of course, they'll be like, Oh, I made a mistake. And you know, what do you do? You're going to talk to the manager over 50 cents. No, they're gonna give you the 50 cents and you're going to run off but they're doing this all day. They're doing this all week. And they're not taking my money. I'll tell you that.
No. So now as if that wasn't enough, this huge lavish home so Cara also invested in a house in Victoria, and two other properties in Edmonton. So he's got this whole siping going now Sal? Yeah, playing his cards all wrong. And although he did continue to drive the old Chevy to work, he did purchase a new Oldsmobile. Now. So seeing how he went so lavish on the homes, he could have at least gone for a Cadillac or something luxurious in that realm,
instead of the Oldsmobile. Yes. Yeah, if you already have the hot tubs, you might as well go with Cadillac. So you know, here's what I'm thinking. If you're going to do a crime like this, a scam like this, you hold up your money, keep it hidden, keep it private, and then retire. be long gone, they forgot about you. Then build your lavish home 510 years after the fact. Not while you're still they're still doing the crime. So exactly. If there's anything that upsets me the most about this crime is how the guy did it, and how he brought attention to himself. What was this guy thinking?
And I brushed over this, but I just want to point out that it's also amazingly impressive, because he had the tenacity to stick with it knowing you're going to take these coins one at a time to stick your antenna with a magnet down there. Just every time the monotony of that acting is if you're working on something if someone comes by or ask a question and no one you're up to no good having that guilty conscience. But just every day getting up and having a new pile of coins, I have to admire that. And its own right. Okay, I just do because that takes a lot of patience and determination. And that is something to marvel at.
Yeah. Oh, it's the one bite at a time on the elephant. That's what that is. This guy definitely is patient. Yeah. Because even for those of us who have fantasized about doing a heist, it's usually just that it's a one time heist. It's not gonna be like, I want my heist to last for 20 years,
exactly. 13 years, what have you. Yeah, there was a short film that we played, and you were involved at the Los Angeles United Film Festival. I'll never forget it. It was called measuring Manhattan. And it was a short film, it could have been a feature or even an episodic but it was this guy that had this type of mentality. And he had a yardstick. And he literally measured Manhattan with it. Of course, the film sped ahead and showed things and he was there. And I even talked to him afterwards. And there was something about that mindset is to do it. And once he started, it becomes an obsession. And it was really fascinating. I've looked it up since and it's not on IMDb, for some reason, but I know it's in one of the old programs that I have. But it made me think of it, this crime made me think of it. But yeah, to wake up and think I gotta go to work, I got to do my job. By the way, I've got to get my collection of coins to keep this thing going. I'm assuming his wife was in on it hard to keep from her. And it was probably always on his mind. You know, you probably read something at one point in time about the Tuni. I got excited, like, Oh, the $2 coins coming on the market. But that would be a few years away.
But the good thing about being a wife is that you can always play dumb, like John Wayne Gacy, like I didn't know if 35 men were buried under the house. It's like you could just be like, well, he just said he got a raise at work. I mean, there's no way that I think you could convict an accomplice called a wife in a situation like this, because she could just always play dumb. Yeah, fair
enough. And sad also works the other way around, you can be a dumb husband to a criminal mastermind whose female or whatever?
Well, Jason, when we cover a crime committed by a female like this, then we'll talk until then all these people, you don't get caught. So you and I have watched enough crime to know most of these are guys. Yes, that's true. A crime like this. Also, something else I was thinking that if you do have the patience to do what this guy did, or like the measuring Manhattan guy did a little bit of autism. Oh, yeah. A little bit. In the spectra. Yeah, yeah, definitely a little bit on the spectrum. Because yeah, I couldn't pull something off like this. I just don't have the patience for it.
So now neighbors would describe Cara as hard working and frugal, and just about everyone would hear a different story about the source of his wealth. Sell. This is already a slippery slope here. For instance, what did he tell the bank?
He told the bank, he had a vending machine business. Exactly.
Now, he told some people, he had a computer business in California. Others he told he was involved in investment banking. So you cannot have these different stories out there. Because what's the point? What's the upside? You're just getting off on it? You're feeling high and mighty and touchable. But there's no good that comes in telling these types of tales? Well, one
thing is you got to get your story straight. So I tell people just be consistent,
right? So he told one co worker, he worked in Vancouver on Fridays on a computer contract. While he told another co worker, he was overseeing the construction of a house in river bend for a friend. And if that wasn't enough, he told yet another co worker, he was doing marriage counseling on the side.
What kind of marriage counseling is this? Well, I mean, why would that be a good thing? Like he does? He's thinking that they'll fall for that. I mean, that's not that's not a money making career. Really. Unless you're Dr. Phil. Yeah,
exactly. This reminds me of the old acronym. And you and I love acronyms kiss. Yeah. What does it mean?
Keep it simple, stupid.
It's all he needed to do. I don't mean to pick on him. But I'm impressed by what he did. And I'm disappointed in the cracks in the plan. Stick with one story, sow and be as vague as possible.
You know, when I was growing up in my neighborhood, you had some guys whose deal drugs and some of them by looking at them, you could tell they dealt drugs. Other guys, you'd look at them and you could not tell that they dealt drugs, I guess. So. I was always from the school of thought though. Yeah, you should not be airing your dirt out like that.
No. So city auditors estimated car was stealing nearly 20% of the total light rail transit fare revenue. That's a staggering number.
Well, that just seems amazing. I mean, jeez, he had access to all the stations. I take it if he's able, yeah, he must have to get into all the machines like that. And again, working the night shift with no supervision. Yeah, everything was perfect except for the way he He lived his life, everything else, it was the perfect crime otherwise,
and maybe his telling these tales didn't get him busted. But also there's a point in time where you just call it enough and throttle back. So two audits sent up red flags, that the cash count was not matching the fair totals. But the discrepancy was initially dismissed as a software glitch. And I'm sure they say they probably went to those coin guys, like we talked about earlier. I have been on my crude, we have two guys going together. There's no funny business here. But this is what I mean, like you get some success level car could have throttled it back. Just went dark for a while. But he didn't. And Sal, this gets into an area that I find fascinating, and it's exactly what he's doing. But here's the terminology that I've come across. And I've known about this for a while, but it's called salami slicing. And first of all, have you heard of that before? No, I've never heard that expression. So salami slicing is a series of small actions often performed by clandestine means that as an accumulated whole, produces a much larger action, or result that would be difficult or unlawful to perform all at once. Yeah. So this, of course, is also the plot of Superman three, the 1983 Superman with Christopher Reeve, of course, but Richard Pryor, he came up with the idea to steal fractions of pennies because they're just floating out there and all of a sudden you're on a gold mine and that concept was also later revisited in office space the 1999 Mike Judge hit which I love and of course they give a tip of the cap in homage to Superman three but yeah, I love that concept. I was a kid when I saw that movie sound was like, oh my god, Superman three that is and like, oh my god, fractions of pennies can lead to millions of dollars. And so it's really just that mindset, although that's software doing the work, not a guy pilfering coins out of light fare box but so there's some terminology for you and I'm sure if we start looking at salami slicing, there's probably a lot more cases
but this is where the phrase Pennywise pound foolish is actually a compliment for these guys
anyway, love this concept. But this is it, you know salami slicing, you do all these small actions over a long amount of time. And yeah, it will accumulate and build and credit to car for keeping this going for all this time. So I guess he was just kind of probably cracking at the seams a little bit and did want to boast some and that's why these different stories were told. But now back to that incriminating videotape just for a second Sal. Turns out that a co worker, perhaps one he told one of his lies to recorded Cara on a video camera as he was reaching into a farebox.
See this shows that this coworker was not criminal minded themselves, right? Because if you're going to take a video of somebody committing a crime, there's only two things you do one is you turn it over the authorities or the powers that be their bosses or whoever. The other is called extortion. Yes. Hey, so what you're doing there, and I'm a needle a piece of that.
Now, we don't know if that ladder was true or not. Oh, I don't know. The reason this didn't help put car in jail was because the coworker later admitted to erasing the videotape. He testified. I did not want to be the one responsible for pointing out that there was anything wrong going on. I didn't want to be involved. Sal, he was later fired.
This is one of those I don't want to rock the boat employees. All right, you're fine. Yes. status quo.
Could he have been paid off? We'll never know. But I wouldn't put it past
him. Well, if I were Salim Cara would have been upset that I've paid this guy off. If later on, I get busted anyway.
True. But who knows? I don't know what happened just speculating. Now private investigators were eventually hired despite Ankara following a 1993 audit. And true to form. They watched him fill the shaving kit with coins from the ticket machines. So Cara, then 42 years old, was immediately arrested, and all of his assets were frozen.
This money should have been long gone, laundered, offshore bank accounts, everything.
Well, he does have some real estate holdings, not just the lavish house, but he's got the three other properties that we know of. That could be in his wife's name. So there's some things we don't know as far as what assets he maintained, hopefully, if he's smart, and he probably is to some degree. Some of that was protected.
I should hope so. I mean, if you want to consider your wife otherwise your wife goes down with you. She doesn't go to prison. But you know, she goes down and everything gets to Take it away.
Yeah, exactly. So now to get into the court case, Carl was granted bail on a $50,000 bond put up by friends. Now, this is kind of a bizarre part of the story in a failed attempt to evade reporters and photographers for a court appearance, current dressed in a trenchcoat, large sunglasses and a walk out Paul low on his brow, looking a little like the Peter Sellers, Inspector Caruso character from the famous pink panther movies. Oh, and he tried to deny that he was indeed Salim Cara, and claimed he was dressed the way he was to help the other guy get away.
Yeah, this guy is a little off his rocker a little bit. He's, uh,
I think a little crazy. Yes, I'm not sure of the logic there.
I think you know what? He's a little loony. Yeah, he's
a little learning.
He's a lot loony.
You know, he's gone for the insanity bet.
Yep. Always go with a selfie.
I know. You've always said that. That's the way to go if in trouble. So in 1996, court of Queen's bench justice A H. Walker, which sentenced car to four years in jail, the judge would say, you have been a millionaire at the expense of the citizens of this good city. 13 years of calculated theft. This is thievery at a most staggering level.
That seems like a real slap on the wrist. For years for this very calculated crime. It's almost like if a guy stole 2 million at once. I may treat him better than somebody that did it over 13 years. Yeah, they
had time to think about it. And to continue on. Yes. Well, he put it the judge put it very eloquently. But he took mercy on Cara who was suffering from colitis, yeah, inflammation of the lining of the colon. And recommended he be allowed to serve his sentence in provincial jail and be eligible for parole after just 16 months. Wow. So yes, this is definitely a slap on the wrist.
I hope his wife was able to walk away with something at least. I mean, I hope that the wife wasn't left destitute after this.
Well, I don't even know if they got all their money's because their assets are frozen doesn't mean they have access to everything. And anybody who's had this much time to think about something. And besides the real estate holdings, maybe those had been sold. That's what's missing in our story. over 13 years, they've could have invested in these things sold and put the cash elsewhere. I'm of the mindset salad, this is kind of crazy, but I want to see them, like have money tucked away, you know, pay your fine, do whatever but not be destitute for sure. You know, I know I even read that they had kids, so I wasn't sure how many, so they have a family. You don't want to see them all pay the price for his wrongdoings. But anyway, so the crown had asked the crown being the court system and Canada had asked for a sentence between four and seven years given that Cara had settled with the city's insurance company. So we don't have the information on that either. But whatever was owed or there was something he settled or maybe he had different holdings. So they're considering that a good deed, if you will, but all told Sal Cara had stolen more than $2,327,890. So of course, it's rounded up in the headline 2.4 million. Now their coins he hauled away would have weighed in estimated 40 tons, which is dinner, how many pounds? That would be?
Yes, a ton is 2000 pounds. So 40 would be 80. So that would be 80. Yes, on believable. Imagine this Jason I don't know if Coinstar is nationwide or worldwide. But imagine taking all these coins to coin star right there in the grocery store. They take out nine cents on the dollar. So you'd have to share your earnings with Coinstar. But I'm thinking that if I were to come across 1000s of dollars in coinage, I would be hitting up the coin stars in the nation.
Yeah, well, this was pre Coinstar, and he was going right in the bank. So it wasn't as if he had any issues on that front. So he was keeping 100 cents on the dollar.
Well, some banks have been accused and I don't know if they've been convicted, but at least accused and has been cases of knowingly laundering drug money. So this is just all in a day's work for banks,
Sal, that's a crime. So, Salim Cara hinted that he would one day tell his story, possibly in a book, but it never happened. At least not yet. Anyway. Now those that knew him struggled to believe that it ever really happened. And one would say, they seem like very honest people. It's a crazy world.
Yeah. Well, you know what? It's always the ones every time they talk to the neighbors like after they catch a killer, and they talk to the neighbors. Yeah. Oh, he seemed like such a nice guy real quiet kept himself. It's always the ones you least suspect. I bet you somebody might think I would do something like this. I bet you if they caught me doing this, people would be like, Oh, yeah. Oh, totally. I totally think Sal would do something like this. But guess what? I don't. And I haven't. It's always the people you don't think would do stuff like this, that do stuff like this?
You know, Sal, that's so true. No one ever thought it however, I'm sure everyone's like, hi. You know, he did tell me two different stories about how he got this money. So Saqqara today, if he's alive, it would be around 70 years old.
Yep. Still plenty of life left. I know a very healthy inactive 92 year old right now. So totally possible. He's got at least couple of decades left, because we want the book.
Exactly. I mean, we want to know does he and his family still reside in or Is that so? White Mud Creek. I want to see the mansion. I want to tour like credits.
Well, let me mention this. Since we're on the topic, Jason. I was recently in Billings, Montana. And there was a guy who did some sort of embezzlement scam, kind of like a Bernie Madoff type of Ponzi thing. Yeah, this guy then takes the money and builds the most elaborate house. This thing is unlike any home in the area, apparently they're trying to sell it now for like $25 million. But this home sits on this hill in the west end of Billings, Montana. Unlike any other home, it looks like a castle. This guy builds a house and then of course, he gets busted. What are these people doing? Live in a decent respectable modest home? Why don't you
max out get the intel on this. It could be a potential episode.
I like it. I will remember that Billings, Montana. We're gonna be visiting that.
And who knows? Maybe we reach out to Salim Cara and get him on the podcast for a special episode. This will be amazing. So I was looking for more intel. Where is he now is that the other so I was looking on the internet Googling, Salim Cara. And I came across Celine Ji Cara of Indian origin, Tanzania and born Canadian. Now this is a very different Cara. He's an inventor of 90 patents, including e stamps. And he sued stamps.com and was awarded 5.5 million from that alone. And I'm assuming they paid him not in coins. But I couldn't get in the Intel bottom line is I keep running into this car. So no more until yet. But hopefully, maybe just this podcast gets out there. And somehow we get a thread or we get contacted or we just keep searching for this Linkara from this story.
Yeah. Especially since that he served his time, right. He did his time. Yep. We assume that justice has been served. So now we can tell his story and why he hasn't been on a talk show circuit baffles me. Yeah. I mean, if this guy wants money, he could make more money now selling his books and make maybe even more than $900 a
day. No, exactly. And I would just love to know more of the nuances in the store. We don't know. I mean, we only have so much from this article that came out the Edmonton journal. There's so many things that are lacking. And I'd love to fill in the blanks. And yeah, put the story out there now. A fascinating tale, a tale of perseverance, truly inspirational in certain respects. And I'm sure there's a lot of copycat maybe not from him, but very similar back in the salami slicing arena, that will have to uncover and tell more of these tales. Yeah,
this guy's like the ultra marathon runner of thievery.
Yeah, exactly. That's why it's impressive. And at the end of the day, slap on the wrist. I'm sure he kept most of his fortune. And the family profited. I mean, he really came out the victor Sal,
you know, if you were to say to me, you have to serve 16 months in prison, but you come out with a couple million? Well, let's just say I might think about it. I might think about,
yeah, sure. I wouldn't want to do it, but he could have gone away for a much longer stent, that's for sure.
And then if you're Uganda, you'll be like, well, we kicked out the right people.
Yeah, exactly. So that was it. I loved this story, Sao, because on that's a crime. We cover what exactly
we cover everything from a misdemeanor to a murder. Exactly. How about this JSON from an infraction to an indictment? How about that? Oh,
I don't know if it is catchy, but in this case I like. So thank you so much for listening and please be sure to subscribe to that's a crime wherever you get your podcast. You can also really help us by giving the show a five star rating on Apple podcast.
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