Unsolved Mysteries Wiki

Luis Ochoa

Real Name: Luis Alfonso Ochoa
Aliases: Luis Alfonso Gonzales, Gilberto Gonzales
Wanted For: Armed Robbery, Kidnapping
Missing Since: October 14, 1994


Details: On August 25, 1994, a security guard named "Jim", who had worked for the Virgin River Casino for six years, and an assistant cage manager, were driving in a van that transported the payroll from a local bank to the Mesquite, Nevada casino when an unknown gunman appeared and announced that it was a holdup. He had Jim drop his gun and told the two not to look at him or else he'd kill them. He then ordered Jim to drive off the main road and go to a deserted area outside of town. He had the two get out of the car, and he then drove away leaving the guards unharmed. The robber had taken a total of $220,000 in unmarked $100 bills.
Soon afterwards, police and the FBI suspected that the two guards that drove the van may have been responsible for the robbery or that someone else in the casino was involved. The guards, however, claimed that they had nothing to do with the robbery. The gunman was either tipped off or was very lucky. The day of the robbery started with several coincidences: the cage manager and the security chief who normally handled the bank runs were gone, the assistant manager decided to make the bank run two hours early, Jim had never before been signed to payroll duty, and finally, the van used on the day of the robbery was not the normal van to make the payroll runs.
However, Jim claims that he and the other employee were being unfairly accused. Only an hour after the robbery, the van was located abandoned about a mile south and Jim's gun and radio were missing. Police took plaster casts of tire and foot prints that indicated that the robber walked to another vehicle and then drove away. The case stalled until one month later when a man who was involved in a domestic dispute used a gun that belonged to one of the guards. The man was ruled out as a suspect in the robbery, so the FBI turned to the man who sold him the gun, Luis Alfonso Ochoa, a local pizza parlor owner.
When Ochoa was questioned by police, he appeared very nervous and defensive and wouldn't allow them to speak to him inside of the parlor. Then, an officer recognized the tire from Ochoa's truck practically matched the tires that were believed to be used on a getaway car. Authorities searched his home and found $5000 hidden in a cowboy boot. In his truck, investigators found a bullet that was used by Jim's gun. As police prepared to arrest Ochoa, he vanished. He has been charged with robbery and kidnapping, but authorities still believe that the robbery may have been an inside job.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the April 12, 1996 episode of Unsolved Mysteries.
Results: Captured. Ochoa was eventually arrested in Los Angeles. He pleaded guilty to money laundering in relation to the case and served a three month sentence. It is no longer believed that the two guards or anyone else were involved in the robbery.