CRIME: Record Haul

Over Reno's police radio one afternoon last week came a routine alarm: "Housebreak at Mt. Rose and Forest." Within minutes, the cops were pulling up at a massive, castlelike mansion owned by La Verne Redfield, 54, an obscure stock and real-estate operator who was locally known to be wealthy and somewhat eccentric. Events quickly proved that he was all of that and then some.

Redfield led the police to a second-floor bedroom closet and announced that a 400-lb. safe was gone. In it, said Redfield, were $250,000 in cash, about $100,000 worth of...

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