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This page is about characters who can be recruited for Heists in GTA V. To see when to select them and when they are used see; Heists and Heist Setups.
For the characters in GTA Online, see Heist Crew Members in GTA Online


Heist Planning Board GTAV Crew Selected.png

Heist Crew Members are minor characters in Grand Theft Auto V who may be hired by the protagonists to assist during most Heist missions.

Description

During setups, the player is often required to choose crew members when Michael selects personnel. He may choose from a variety of gunmen, hackers, and drivers, if they are needed in order to complete the specific requirements of a given heist (excluding The Merryweather Heist and Blitz Play). Generally, crew members with higher stats will perform better, while requiring a higher cut and thus imposing a greater expense on the protagonists. Likewise, hirelings with lower stats will cost less, however their lesser performance quality will likely make for a more challenging mission for the player, if not suffering a casualty and losing part of the take at worst. Any crew member that survives a successful heist will earn experience, potentially improving their skills while not increasing their cut, if they're chosen for a future heist.

Two potential crew members can be unlocked by completing certain random events; Patrick McReary, a skilled gunman, can be hired if rescued from the scene of a robbery at the drug store near Franklin's original safe-house, after the mission Pulling Favors. Taliana Martinez, a talented driver, can also be hired after helping her receive medical attention following a car crash in the median of the freeway east of Paleto Bay, after the mission Mr. Philips.

Two more potential crew members will call a protagonist and offer their services; Rickie Lukens, a potential hacker, will call Michael after the mission Friend Request, and again after The Paleto Score or The Bureau Raid if he has not been hired by then. Additionally, Chef will contact Trevor after Blitz Play and offer his services as a gunman.

Crew members

The following is a table of all available personnel for the various heists that require additional crew members; The Jewel Store Job, The Paleto Score, The Bureau Raid and The Big Score. This includes their required payment (percentage cut of the net take), their starting experience (performance quality), and the earliest heist in which they may be utilized:

 
Class Name Cut Quality Earliest Heist Available
Driver Eddie Toh 14% Good The Jewel Store Job
Driver Karim Denz 8% Poor The Jewel Store Job
Driver Taliana Martinez 5% Good The Bureau Raid
Gunman Gustavo Mota 14% Good The Jewel Store Job
Gunman Norm Richards 7% Poor The Jewel Store Job
Gunman Patrick McReary 12% Good The Jewel Store Job
Gunman Daryl Johns 6% Poor The Paleto Score
Gunman Chef* 12% Good The Paleto Score
Gunman Hugh Welsh 7% Poor The Bureau Raid
Gunman Karl Abolaji 8% Poor The Big Score
Hacker Paige Harris 15% Good The Jewel Store Job
Hacker Christian Feltz 10% Mediocre The Jewel Store Job
Hacker Rickie Lukens* 4% Poor The Jewel Store Job
† These crew members require the completion of a certain random event.
* These crew members require a timely phone call with their related protagonist.

Upgrading crew skills

Each time a crew member participates in a successful heist and survives, their skill ratings are increased by approximately 25% without increasing his or her pay rate. However, each of these skills, represented by the bars on the character's résumé sheet, are relatively unimportant, a few gunmen being the notable exception. What is more important is how the game classifies each crew member based on their experience for various scripted events during each heist; this can be categorized within this article as Good or Poor, or Mediocre in regards to hackers specifically. Generally, each participant should be upgraded by one category each heist. For example, if Rickie Lukens, originally a 'Poor' hacker, is used in the Jewel Store Job, then he will be a 'Mediocre' hacker during the Bureau Raid, and if utilized during that heist as well, he will be a 'Good' hacker during the Big Score.

A gunman's skill does have a small effect outside of scripted events, as their max health, accuracy, shoot rate, and weapon choice are all very relevant to each gunman's overall usefulness in a fire fight. However, it's important to note that a Poor gunman can't be improved more than once - by participating in the Bureau Raid, the second-to-last heist - as they will not survive through any earlier heists. Furthermore, while experience from the Bureau Raid will increase the gunman's skills, it will not increase their classification during any future scripted events.

Mission effects of crew skills

Drivers

Good: Eddie and Taliana*, or Karim after one heist. Poor: Karim w/o experience.

The Jewel Store Job

Smart
  • Good: Selects Sanchezes for the escape (which handle well in all terrains), and will radio helpful directions to Franklin. *Taliana's random event will be unavailable until after this heist, making Eddie the only good driver.
  • Poor: Selects Bati 801RRs for the escape (which handle poorly in mud), and will not be helpful in navigating. If the gunman crashes, the driver will stop briefly in the tunnels to calm down.
Loud
  • Good: Empties the display cases without dropping any jewelry. Will select Sanchezes for the escape (which handle well in all terrains), and will radio helpful directions to Franklin. *Taliana's random event will be unavailable until after this heist, making Eddie the only good driver.
  • Poor: Drops roughly 10% of the jewelry when emptying display cases. Will select Bati 801RRs for the escape (which handle poorly in mud), and will not be helpful in navigating. If the gunman crashes, the driver will stop briefly in the tunnels to calm down.

The Bureau Raid

Note: The covert approach does not utilize a driver.

Roof
  • Good: Arrives on time driving an Ambulance, allowing for an easy and stealthy getaway, provided the player doesn't draw any attention to themselves.
  • Poor: Arrives late driving a Burrito, leading to a police chase after the protagonists and gunmen are forced to hold off reinforcements.

The Big Score

Obvious
  • Good: As Driver 1, successfully pilots the helicopter through the wind farm and deliver the gold, provided Trevor and Lester destroy the pursuing Merryweather choppers. As Driver 2, will drive the train successfully.
  • Poor: As Driver 1, crashes the helicopter in the wind farm, losing half of the overall take and causing a heist casualty. As Driver 2, will drive the train successfully.
Subtle
  • Good: As Driver 1, successfully loads half the gold into the Gauntlets, and successfully evades police. As Driver 2, successfully changes the Securicar tires, and will later keep the truck steady for Franklin to board.
  • Poor: As Driver 1, drops roughly 9% of the gold when loading their half, and gets arrested at a road block, losing a quarter of the remaining take and causing a heist casualty. As Driver 2, does a poor job changing the Securicar tires (to no ill effect), and will later weave the truck from side to side, making Franklin's boarding slightly more difficult.

Gunmen

Good: Gus, Packie, and Chef. Poor: Norm, Daryl, Hugh, and Karl (with or w/o experience).

The Jewel Store Job

Smart
  • Good: Empties the display cases without dropping any jewelry, and will escape through the sewers with the driver and Franklin.
  • Poor: Drop roughly 10% of the jewelry when emptying the display cases, and will crash his bike during the escape, causing a heist casualty and dropping a third of the jewelry - recoverable by Franklin.
Loud
  • Good: Handles crowd control without incident, and will escape through the sewers with the driver and Franklin.
  • Poor: Fails to control the store manager, forcing Michael to subdue her, and will crash his bike during the escape, causing a heist casualty while dropping a third of the jewelry - recoverable by Franklin.

The Paleto Score

  • Good: Effectively helps to fend off law enforcement, before creating a diversion to take some of the heat off the protagonists, escaping on his own.
  • Poor: Gets pinned to a wall by a police car and left behind, causing a heist casualty and dropping a quarter of the take - recoverable by Michael or Trevor. The protagonists will also have to face more law enforcement while making their escape.

The Bureau Raid

Note: Chef will not be available, as Trevor is not involved.

Roof
  • Good: Selects a black parachute and an exceptional weapon, effectively helping to fend off law enforcement.
  • Poor: Selects a rainbow parachute and an impoverished weapon, being of little assistance and requiring more help from the protagonists.
Covert
  • Good: Avoids death-by-explosion during the escape, requiring two Good gunmen to prevent a casualty.
  • Poor: Survives only if chosen as Gunman 1 alongside another Poor gunman. Otherwise, will die in an explosion during the escape, if chosen with a Good gunman or chosen as Gunman 2 alongside another Poor gunman. In either event, the crew will experience a casualty.

The Big Score

Obvious
  • Good: As Gunman 1, successfully removes the gold from the vault. As Gunman 2, effectively helps to fight through the police and NOOSE to the getaway car.
  • Poor: As Gunman 1, successfully removes the gold from the vault. As Gunman 2, is of little assistance in the shootout, requiring more help from Michael.
Subtle
  • Good: As Gunman 1, successfully loads half the gold into the Gauntlets. As Gunman 2, successfully changes the Securicar tires while also abducting the hostages.
  • Poor: As Gunman 1, drops roughly 9% of the gold when loading. As Gunman 2, does a poor job changing the Securicar tires (to no ill effect) but still abduct the hostages well enough.

Hackers

Good: Paige, or Christian after one heist, or Rickie after two heists. Mediocre: Christian, or Rickie after one heist. Poor: Rickie w/o experience.

The Jewel Store Job

Note: Either approach will be identical for the hacker.

  • Good: Prevents the alarm from going off for 90 seconds.
  • Mediocre: Prevents the alarm from going off for 60 seconds.
  • Poor: Prevents the alarm from going off for 50 seconds (30 seconds in the original console release).

The Bureau Raid

Note: The covert approach does not utilize a hacker.

Roof
  • Good: Does a great job helping Michael hack the system, and will turn off the sprinklers.
  • Mediocre: Does a tolerable job helping Michael hack the system, and might turn off the sprinklers.
  • Poor: Neither helps hack the system nor turns off the sprinklers.

The Big Score

Note: The obvious approach does not utilize a hacker.

Subtle
  • Good: Controls the traffic lights with no delay while effectively sourcing the Gauntlets needed for the escape.
  • Mediocre: Has a 2 second delay in controlling the traffic lights while adequately sourcing the Gauntlets needed for the escape.
  • Poor: Has a 4 second delay in controlling the traffic lights while poorly sourcing the Gauntlets needed for the escape.

Crew choices for maximum net revenue

The player only gets one shot at making money from each heist, thus it's important to go over all the variables and generally make the most profitable choices to the benefit of each protagonist. One can always replay the mission after-the-fact to test alternate methods or attain higher achievement medals.

If the player simply plays it safe and always hires the best - and most expensive - contract criminals, one can easily find oneself giving a majority of the take to the chosen employees. Alternatively, going with the cheapest help can cost the player far more than they were attempting to save. So, knowing when a low-cost crew member can perform adequately enough, or when a high-cost crew member is required, can make all the difference in attaining maximum profit.

The Jewel Store Job

Smart

  • Driver: Karim Denz (8%)
  • Gunman: Packie McReary† (12%)
  • Hacker: Rickie Lukens* (4%)

Crew cut: 24% (preferred)

Loud

  • Driver: Eddie Toh (14%)
  • Gunman: Packie McReary† (12%)
  • Hacker: Rickie Lukens* (4%)

Crew cut: 30%

Summary

During this first heist, it's essential to choose a good crew member to help Michael clean out the display cases, which unfortunately is never mentioned by Lester during the setup. This task falls to the gunman in the Smart approach and the driver in the Loud approach; a poor crewman in this role will drop roughly 10% of the jewelry, or ~$500k worth.

During the Loud approach, not only will a poor driver (Karim) drop loot, but a poor gunman (Norm) fails at crowd control, costing Michael some time and making a clean sweep all the more difficult. Alternatively, during the Smart approach, using a poor gunman will result in dropped jewelry, but choosing Karim over the pricier Eddie as the driver will have no adverse consequences, save the minor challenge of driving a Bati 801RR through the sewers, rather than the preferred Sanchez. In either approach, Norm will crash his bike, becoming a casualty and raising his cost to 10.5%, while also forcing Franklin to attempt recovery of his dropped bag, or else lose a third of the take. As the hacker, Rickie can only hold the alarm for 50 seconds, making a clean sweep more difficult but still possible. Moreover, it's important for Rickie to start gaining experience for later heists.

For these reasons, the Smart approach is preferred, as it only requires an expensive gunman. The Loud approach essentially requires both an expensive gunman and an expensive driver; while it is possible to go with a cheap gunman, sacrificing Norm to reduce the relative crew cut by 1.5%, this makes the mission more difficult, it prevents Norm from being utilized during later heists, and in the end it can't compete with the best Smart approach - even without unlocking Packie beforehand.

The Paleto Score

  • Gunman: Norm Richards (7%)

Casualty expense: 10.5%

Summary

Either of the cheap gunmen will die during this heist, but even with the casualty penalty and assuming the player picks up the dropped bag, Norm ends up costing the least long-term. Alternatively, Chef and Packie will survive and should decrease the overall difficulty of the heist, but they cost 1.5% more and their earned experience is largely inconsequential. Lastly, Daryl technically costs the least with a 9% casualty expense, but he's particularly valuable during later heists. In the end, with only a ~$10k difference in reward for each protagonist between the three ideal gunmen, the only objectively bad choices are the pragmatic Daryl and the expensive Gustavo.

The Bureau Raid

Roof Entry

  • Driver: Taliana Martinez† (5%)
  • Gunman: Daryl Johns (6%)
  • Hacker: Rickie Lukens* (4%)

Crew cut: 15% (preferred)

Covert

  • Gunmen: Daryl Johns (6%) and Hugh Welsh (7%)

Crew cut/casualty expense: 16.5%

Summary

At first glance, the Covert approach would seem less expensive with one less crew member, but this is balanced by ensuring a gunman casualty, unless the two most expensive gunmen are chosen, making the crew cut 26%. However, a new gunman being made available (Hugh) can serve as a worthy sacrifice if one is set on this approach, as long as an appropriate Gunman 1 is chosen. Alternatively, nobody will die in the Rooftop approach, even with the cheapest crew members, despite increasing the difficulty. Among the drivers, Taliana is just as effective as Eddie and is the least expensive, though requires the completion of a random event beforehand. Rickie can be tolerable, more-so with the experience gained from the Vangelico stickup, making him just as effective as Christian at less than half the cost, and can still benefit from the experience earned towards a future heist.

Again, similar to the Paleto Score, there's only a ~$5k optimum difference in reward for Franklin between the two approaches, making multiple options equally viable. The only bad choices include using any of the most expensive crew members, or choosing the Covert approach where'in Daryl dies.

The Big Score

Obvious

  • Driver 1 (helicopter): Taliana Martinez† (5%)
  • Driver 2 (train): Karim Denz (8%)
  • Gunman 1 (with Franklin): Hugh Welsh (7%)
  • Gunman 2 (with Michael): Daryl Johns (6%)

Crew cut: 26% (preferred)

Subtle

  • Driver 1 (loader / driver): Taliana Martinez† (5%)
  • Driver 2 (tires / truck): Karim Denz (8%)
  • Gunman 1 (loader / escort): Packie McReary† or Chef (12%)
  • Gunman 2 (tires / hostages): Daryl Johns (6%)
  • Hacker: Rickie Lukens* (4%)

Crew cut: 35%

Summary

In the Obvious approach, Driver 1 is the only good crew member that's required, as the chopper will crash otherwise, losing half the take. It doesn't matter who drives the train as Driver 2; there is no possibility of failure. If Karim doesn't have previous experience, he should be selected as Driver 2 - otherwise, all the drivers are interchangeable. Meanwhile, Gunman 1 merely serves as muscle, helping Franklin move the gold out of the vault, while Gunman 2 is shooting his way through local law enforcement with Michael to the getaway car, and thus should be the cheapest with the best stats - preferably whoever was used during the Bureau Raid. No casualties are expected among the gunmen, so a skilled player can easily go cheap here. However, an important factor to be aware of at this stage - especially in regards to the Obvious approach - is actually having the appropriate gunmen available. It's possible to suffer a gunman casualty in each of the previous heists, leaving you with Karl @ 8% and Packie/Chef @ 12% as your cheapest options for the two gunman selections. This potential predicament could effectively inflate the total crew cut by 7%, costing the player ~$14mil, or nearly $5mil per protagonist.

In the Subtle approach, Driver 1 needs to be good, as they not only help load the Gauntlets but also drives one through the streets of Los Santos with the protagonists - a poor driver (inexperienced Karim) will lose a tenth from loading, another fourth by crashing, and trigger a casualty expense. Meanwhile, Driver 2 is a far less detrimental option for a driver, potentially weaving the loading truck from side to side. Likewise, Gunman 1 also needs to be good, as they will be helping to load the Gauntlets. Gunman 2, similar to Gunman 1 in the Obvious approach, serves as muscle and just helps change the tires of the Securicar and looks after the hostages. This approach pointedly required a hacker, which Rickie can easily satisfy especially with the experience of two previous heists, as he'll be just as effective as Paige at less than a third of the cost. Note that this approach will also cost the player a $300,000 bribe, along with the expense of upgrading the Gauntlets, assuming Franklin hasn't purchased the auto shop available to him.

This final heist can make a huge difference regarding the player's end-game fiscal capabilities, with each single percentage of crew cut potentially costing the protagonists two million dollars, or ~$650k each. With this amount of money at stake, it almost requires the exclusion of all expensive crew members for max revenue, making the Subtle approach ill-advised as it requires an additional crew member, and a more experienced crew overall. This heist also benefits the most from unlocked crew members - particularly Taliana, as the player will otherwise be forced to incorporate Eddie, and the driver's crew cuts for either approach increase by a total of 9%.

Potential crew member casualties

Depending on the experience of chosen crew members, they may end up being killed or arrested within a scripted event, in which case their death or legal expenses will be 1.5x their original cut; e.g. losing a crew member with a cut of 7% will increase their cost to 10.5%. While it is technically possible for most crew members to die during the course of a heist outside of these scripted events, it will result in an immediate mission failure, as opposed to the heist progressing relatively normally with an eventual casualty result.

Hackers

None of the hackers are on-site during a heist, and thus cannot be killed.

Drivers

Eddie Toh

  • ​The Big Score
    • (Obvious) If chosen to pilot the second helicopter and Trevor fails to keep the helicopter steady so Lester can destroy the Merryweather helicopters, he'll be shot down.

Taliana Martinez

  • The Big Score
    • (Obvious) If chosen to pilot the second helicopter and Trevor fails to keep the helicopter steady so Lester can destroy the Merryweather helicopters, she'll be shot down.

Karim Denz

  • The Big Score
    • (Subtle) If his experience is low and is chosen to drive the fourth Gauntlet, he will crash his car and get arrested by the police.
    • (Obvious) If his experience is low and is chosen to pilot the second helicopter, he will crash into a windmill, killing him. Alternatively, if he has experience, and Trevor fails to keep the helicopter steady so Lester can destroy the Merryweather helicopters, he'll be shot down.

Gunmen

All 'good' gunmen - Gustavo Mota, Packie McCreary, and Chef - will either avoid or survive any scripted events. Likewise, Karl Abolaji is only available during the last heist, where'in there are no scripted casualties for gunmen.

Norm Richards

  • The Jewel Store Job
    • (Either approach) Crashes his bike during the escape, incapacitating him.
  • The Paleto Score
    • Gets hit by a police car and pinned to a wall, forcing the group to leave him behind and possibly get arrested by the police.
  • The Bureau Raid
    • (Covert) May get caught in the backdraft when the locked door opens, killing him.*

Daryl Johns

  • The Paleto Score
    • Gets hit by a police car and pinned to a wall, forcing the group to leave him behind and possibly get arrested by the police.
  • The Bureau Raid
    • (Covert) May get caught in the backdraft when the locked door opens, killing him.*

Hugh Welsh

  • The Bureau Raid
    • (Covert) May get caught in the backdraft when the locked door opens, killing him.*

*If the other gunman is good, or if chosen as Gunman 2 alongside another poor gunman. Will survive as Gunman 1 alongside another poor gunman.

Video

Trivia

  • Daryl Johns, Hugh Welsh, and Karl Abolaji aren't available if the player replays a heist, for unknown reasons.
  • All drivers are potentially determinant characters, though they all canonically survive.
  • Karl Abolaji is the only 'poor' gunman who is not a determinant character, as he can only be selected during the last heist, wherein there are no scripted events in which the gunmen die. Therefore, he is the only 'poor' gunman who canonically survives.
  • None of the hackers can die in any heist.

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