Former armored car guard implicated in 'brazen' $1.7M robbery of armored car outside of NJ casino

Saturday 28th November 2020

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - Prosecutors say that a former armored car guard was one of three involved in a heist of over $1.7 million of an armored car outside of an Atlantic City casino.

From what prosecutors say, the armored car belonged to the same company where the former guard once worked. He allegedly helped in executing the scheme.

The incident happened outside of the Bally's casino in Atlantic City "in broad daylight," on November 5th, according to prosecutors. Officials say that 35-year-old Dante J. McCluney was one of three that pilfered $1,760,000 from a Rapid Armored Corporation vehicle parked outside of the casino.

Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon Tyner spoke of the "brazen" nature of this case:

"This was a brazen burglary of an armored car on a public street in broad daylight. Out of all the crimes I've seen committed in Atlantic County during my tenure, this incident harkened back to something out of the 1930s."

McCluney and two other male suspects were said to have parked a gray Hyundai near the armored vehicle and began unloading "suspected bags of U.S. currency," and departed the area within a span of about five minutes.

Prosecutors say that it was through McCluney's previous employment with Rapid Armored Corporation that aided in the suspect's ability to pull off said robbery.

The incident was said to have been captured on surveillance footage, which helped in identifying McCluney, as two former co-workers were said to have recognized him on the obtained footage.

Tyner noted that the arrest of McCluney was accomplished due to some "old fashioned detective work":

"Thankfully, we have a talented, hard working group of detectives who used old fashioned detective work to track down Dante McCluney, and then identify the other suspects."

Reportedly, the two other suspects involved in the incident are still at-large. Tyner also stated that "a substantial amount of the stolen cash has been recovered."

McCluney is currently being housed at the Atlantic County Justice Facility, where he's facing charges of burglary, theft by unlawful taking and conspiracy to commit theft.

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In October, in New Jersey, a robbery attempt was reportedly thwarted due to one of the victims merely mouthing the words "help me" to a passerby during the incident.

CLIFTON, NJ - Two men were recently arrested in New Jersey for allegedly trying to coerce a couple into pulling money out of an ATM for them. One of the men arrested was said to have even presented himself as a police officer to the victims in the case.

However, it was the ingenuity of the female victim that stopped this robbery after she reportedly mouthed the words "help me" to a passerby at the ATM.

The incident took place on the evening of October 16, where a male and a female were sitting inside of their parked vehicle near Main and Vreeland avenues in Clifton.

That's when a man, later identified by police as 39-year-old Travis Mann, approached the driver's side door of the vehicle and knocked on the window.

Police say Mann had identified himself as a police officer - which he obviously is not. Rather, he's a convicted sex offender with a fairly lengthy criminal history.

However, Mann was said to have portrayed himself as a police officer and advised the couple inside of the parked vehicle that they were in violation of laws related to intimacy in a public place.

That's when police say Mann demanded that the couple pull some money out of an ATM in order to avoid being "arrested."

The couple then proceeded to an ATM after Mann allegedly informed them that he was armed and Mann's accomplice, 45-year-old Paul Dunlop, followed the couple in a separate vehicle.

The male victim had just pulled the money out of the ATM when another individual pulled into the parking lot of the bank. At that time, the female victim mouthed the words "help me," which caught the individual's attention.

Said person heard the woman loud and clear, so to speak, and called the police.

Clifton Police Lieutenant Robert Bracken stated that local authorities rushed to the scene and were able to apprehend both Mann and Dunlop and effectively rescue the couple. Police have since charged both Mann and Dunlop with kidnapping, carjacking and robbery.

Based upon the allegations about Mann's alleged role, he was also charged with impersonating a police officer and criminal coercion.

The crime in question is quite reminiscent of some of Mann's exploits from years earlier, when he was said to have carjacked a night school student at a local McDonald's drive-thru and forced him to pull out money from various ATMs within Paterson for nearly six hours.

Police in that instance said that Mann was engaging in said scheme so as to support his habits related to drug use and his affinity for prostitutes. During that instance of carjacking and coerced robbery, Mann was reportedly wearing an ankle-monitor the entire time.

But there's more to Mann's history than just having been arrested numerous times - he actually was once a victim of a shooting by an off-duty police officer. In that case, the officer wound up being sent to prison.

That incident occurred back in 2016 when Mann and then-Officer Dante L. Gordon from the Paterson Police Department had gotten into some kind of an argument outside of a 7-11 and Gordan produced a gun and shot at Mann.

Mann wasn't directly struck, but rather some bullet fragments wound up hitting him and another victim identified as John Smith.

Years later, in March of 2019, a jury returned a verdict of guilty related to aggravated assault with a handgun, according to the Passaic County Prosecutor's Office.

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