The trailer of Kangana Ranaut’s latest Bollywood outing, Simran, has won over netizens. Unless you have been living under a wrong, you know that Kangana’s quirky film is inspired by a real-life incident.
Did you know that it is based on the “Bombshell Bandit” Sandeep Kaur? Born in Chandigarh, Sandeep moved to California with her family at the age of seven. By the age of 19, she was a Licensed Vocational Nurse, and soon began to make up to $6,000 a month.
While she was still a teenager, Sandeep had a stroke of luck when she invested all her life’s savings in the stock market. The prices of stocks were really low due to the economy crash, and she ended up making $200,000.
Things went south on Sandeep’s 21st birthday, when she and her cousin took off to Las Vegas to celebrate. It is in Vegas that she was introduced to the habit that would bring her downfall. “I gambled. I won a couple of thousand and it was pretty fun. I played blackjack and I kept winning,” she told BBC in an interview.
Sandeep was “instantly hooked” and began making monthly trips to the resort city. Her Achilles heel was baccarat – she just could not resist the card game and soon, her beginner’s luck ran out.
She had already lost $60,000, but she just could not stop. She even quit her Bachelor of Science course in Nursing and turned to full-time gambling. “I stopped working. I can’t focus and be going to work for this little amount of money,” Sandeep said.
She started dipping into more and more of her savings, and soon, lost money to the tune of $250,000. This is when Sandeep caught the eye of loan sharks. They lent her the $20,000 she needed, but it came at a sky-high interest rate. Lady Luck was not on her side, and she lost all the money.
Sandeep fled Vegas, trying to escape her creditors in 2012. But her past caught up with her. In 2014, she spotted a mysterious black vehicle tailing her car. Two men cornered her about her loan and said that she needed to cough up $35,000 in two days. She was threatened and given a choice of either paying up or working for them. “They said, ‘You can rob a bank. Go rob a house, do this do that, we need the money.’ They tried to give me a gun,” Sandeep said.
Sandeep was dubbed the “Bombshell Bandit” for her modus operandi of slipping the teller a note threatening to detonate a bomb if they didn’t give her the money. She would wear wigs and large sunglasses to disguise herself.
Her run ended on July 31, 2014, when she got caught running away with money from the US Bank in St George. The manager called 911 as she sped away, and soon, a police car started following her. Sandeep was chased across three states, and the police finally caught up with her.
Sandeep Kaur was sentenced to 66 months in jail, and ordered to repay the banks every dollar that she stole.
Source: India Today.
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