If there’s one thing absolutely nobody can deny, it’s that Gerald Daniel Blanchard is a rather creative and calculating being whose innate senses enabled him to become a criminal mastermind. We say mastermind because, as carefully chronicled in Hulu’s ‘The Jewel Thief,’ the Canadian native orchestrated slick heists across three continents prior to his eventual arrest in early 2007. So now, if you simply wish to learn more about his core background, his artful offenses, his financial reapings, as well as his overall net worth as of writing, we’ve got the essential details for you.
How Did Gerald Blanchard Earn His Money?
Gerald was merely eight when his life took a drastic turn from the comforts of Winnipeg as his loving, adoptive mother separated from his stepfather before relocating straight to Omaha, Nebraska. The truth is he actually “grew up very wealthy,” but his parents’ split was such that he landed in near poverty alongside the former and then had to watch her struggle to make ends meet. That’s when he turned to a life of crime — as per his own narrative, he started with stealing candies prior to stepping up to real shoplifting in his teens and robbing/defrauding banks as an adult.
According to reports, Gerald’s MO at the beginning was nothing but the art of distraction, which gave him a lot of confidence as he almost always walked away with free stuff from local shops. Thus, he soon evolved to taking hard cash, expensive electronics, as well as pieces of furniture from well-known stores until he ended up cleaning out an entire RadioShack on Easter Day 1987. Though this did result in the 15-year-old getting arrested for grand theft, only to leniently be released on parole following a short three months in a juvenile jail — the reason; his race and schooling.
It hence comes as no surprise Gerald subsequently learned further into this felony lifestyle rather than changing his ways, as evidenced by his new endeavor of outrightly defrauding businesses. He actually stole a myriad of goods, fabricated their receipts, and quickly traveled to different supply shops across states to acquire full cash refunds on return while also antagonizing local police. The teen ostensibly pulled in at least $4,000 to $8,000 per week through this hustle, enabling him to purchase a comfortable house for his family at the tender of 16 through a middleman associate.
However, because Gerald still didn’t stop, it became clear his actions were directly related to his thrill-seeking addiction, and he ended up having an extensive criminal record by the time he was 21. Then came his April 1993 arrest in Iowa for car arson, stealing a police badge, gun, radio, plus other official equipment, and escaping from custody twice in 24 hours — once in a police cruiser. In the end, he was sentenced to a total of seven years for second-degree arson as well as second-degree theft, of which he merely served four before being released and deported back to Canada.
Gerald admittedly fell into old habits the second he stepped foot into his homeland in 1997, only to realize he could actually earn a lot more cash by simply hitting local ATMs and bank deposits. Thus began his heists across the nation — in Alberta, British Columbia, Edmonton, Etobicoke, Ontario, and Winnipeg, amongst others — throughout which he reportedly utilized at least 22 aliases. Each of these hits reportedly had him walking away with a minimum of $250,000 to $750,000 of cold, hard cash in hand, which was then distributed amongst his team without any issues.
We should also mention that since Gerald enjoyed a jet-setting lifestyle between each robbery, it was in 1998 that he came across and stole the Sisi Star in Vienna just because he found it pretty. By the time someone realized the star in its official case was a replica weeks later, he was sticking to his usual luxuries of sailing on a yacht far away, scuba diving, driving Ferraris, plus taking private helicopter rides alongside his then-wife to travel around the world. And eventually, under a supposed London-based leader, the criminal mastermind began heavily dabbling in the world of organized crime too — conspiracy, fraud, as well as trafficking.
Gerald Blanchard’s Net Worth
It was reportedly in January 2007 when Gerald was apprehended for good, nine months after which he pleaded guilty to 16 of the 54 counts against him in exchange for an eight-year sentence. Along with this, his and his family members’ homes were raided for the recovery of stolen cash/goods (including the Sisi Star), plus he was ordered to pay $500,000 in restitution to a bank he’d robbed in 2004.
Moreover, in Gerald’s own words, he “forfeited all my assets, all my money, gave the [Sisi Star] back, and ended up with eight years. I was out after 18 months… [Bank robbery is still] tempting, but my feeling is the police know my MO, so if I were to do anything, I would have to change it up. I still have five or six different MOs I could easily do to off throw the banks. But I live this comfortable life now, and don’t need to worry about committing crimes.”
Nevertheless, because the reported criminal mastermind turned security consultant was briefly arrested again in March 2017 for stealing PlayStations from an Ontario Best Buy and apparently continues to lead a good life in Canada, we believe he has a net worth of at least $1.5 million as of writing.