The Most Interesting Casino Robberies
The most raucous events that might occur in casinos, usually described in feature films. And we do not believe that the robbery of a casino in real life can be so meticulously thought out. However, sometimes, there are such cases, in the end, turn into a plot for a Hollywood movie.
Let us look at the top 5 notorious robberies in casinos history:
No. 5: Family Heist
The head of the family, Royal Main Hopper, worked in the security service of the Stardust establishment in Las Vegas and therefore knew perfectly how the casino protection system works. This knowledge allowed him to carefully think out two robberies in which he involved his sons and comrade.
The first robbery, which happened on September 1, 1991, was successful. The family managed to take out a large amount of money with them, and at the same time, go unnoticed. The robbery looked as if a suddenly appeared man, armed with a 45-gauge semi-automatic, was beginning to convince the guard to give him $ 153,000. The robber managed to escape, and only after a while, the police find out the armed criminal was the son of Royal, Bobby Lee Hopper.
Royal attracted two more participants to the second robbery - the son of Jeffrey and friend Wesley Carroll. This time, the burglars aimed at an armored truck near the Stardust casino.
On the day of the robbery, Jeff Hopper distracted the guards with a false message about a pool fight. Meanwhile, other participants were putting on makeup and wearing wigs. Then they entered the casino, armed with pistols, and waited for the driver of the armored truck.
When the robbers spotted the driver, they fired smoke bombs, then knocked him down and took two bags. One of these bags had about $ 500,000 in cash, while the other contained negotiable instruments. It was the smoke that helped to leave the crime scene, but soon the police still arrested the robbers.
No. 4: Bonnie and Clyde
Another incredible story happened on October 1, 1993, then a couple in love participated in the robbery - Heather Tolchif and Roberto Salise. At the time of the crime, Heather was driving an armored truck and was supposed to deliver $ 2,500,000 to Circus Circus Casino. And while the guards in the building were processing the paperwork, Heather turned and went to the factory warehouse, where her accomplice helped unload all the bags of money.
Roberto and Heather had succeeded in leaving the country and go to the Cayman Islands. But 12 years later, in 2005, Heather Tolchif appeared in New York Federal Court with confession. The girl claimed that the originator of the crime was Roberto Salise, who left her when he learned about the pregnancy. Unfortunately, Roberto never found, and Heather got five years in prison.
No. 3: The Most Silent Casino Robbery
On September 22, 1992, B. Brennan came to his work at the Stardust Casino in Las Vegas, just like any other day. But this time, he left with a bag containing $ 500,000.
None of the surveillance cameras recorded his exit from the casino, so the management of the institution did not even suspect that their employee had just stolen half a million dollars.
This robbery is famous because the criminal did not threaten or use a weapon; he just took the money and went out with them. But the most incredible part of Bill Brennan’s story is that he got away with it. After it became clear who was responsible for the theft, the police immediately went to Brennan's apartment. But when they arrived, there was no one there and the place where he hid remained unknown. After this incident, the control of employees in all gambling establishments tightened.
No. 2: Robber-Rider
One of the most famous robberies happened in 2010 at the Bellagio Casino Hotel in Las Vegas. Anthony Carleo entered the casino with a gun, wearing a tinted motorcycle helmet, and threatened to cash out $ 1.5 million worth of cashier chips. Most of the chips cost $ 25,000, some from $ 100 to $ 5,000.
The robber charged on three crimes: burglary, assault, and the use of firearms. And after only a few days, Carleo appeared in the same casino and tried to play using the stolen chips. Before the robbery, he asked the croupier if he knew of people who could sell chips. And when the croupier tried to find out if he was the sensational robber, Anthony denied everything.
A little later, E. Carleo registered on one forum and began to negotiate the sale of chips. The interlocutor guessed who he was dealing with, and when he decided to clarify his occupation, he received a positive response with attached photographs of the very stolen chips. After this correspondence, data on Carleo (name, contacts, and IP address) transferred to the police, and on February 2, Carleo arrested.
No. 1: The Genius of a Casino Robbery
Jose Vigoa is considered the most dangerous and daring robber in the history of the casino. Jose Vigoa was born in Hamido del Guabla in Cuba in 1959. At the age of 13, he sent to the USSR for military training, and at the age of 19, he already commanded a detachment in Afghanistan. In 1980, Jose returned to America.
Vigoa decided to create a criminal organization and lured three people: Oscar Sanchez, Luis Suarez, Pedro Agurante. Perfectly mastering the skills of military training, he taught his team everything that the military should have been able to. They watched a chain of casino hotels in Vegas, monitored casino guards, and tracked out cash-out routes.
The place of the first robbery, Vigoa, and his associates chose the MGM Grand casino. On the morning of September 20, 1998, members of the Jose group, armed with 45-caliber semi-automatic pistols and hiding their faces under masks, entered the establishment. They approached the truck that delivered the casino money to the bank, attacked the guards, and took the bag where $ 1.5 million were lying. The robbery did not last more than a minute.
Vigoa even better prepared for the second robbery of the casino - his team stole 11 rental cars in which they were going to hide from the chase, and also acquired a whole arsenal of weapons. At the crime scene, Desert In Casino, the organization arrived in body armor and Kalashnikov assault rifles. After waiting for the driver to get out of the car, Vigoa and his accomplices launched an attack. The guards refused to lay down their arms, resulting in a shootout. Gang Jose injured three people and hid in stolen cars.
The next goal was the Mandalay Bay Casino. This time they managed to steal about $ 100 thousand. And again, they went unnoticed. But the most vivid crime involving Jose Vigoa is considered the robbery of the casino Bellagio.
June 3, 2000, Jose went to the casino and confidently headed to the box office. The robber behaved relaxedly and boldly, thereby immediately aroused suspicions among the guards. A little later, Sanchez and Suarez entered the building and also approached the ticket office. After Jose told the cashier: “This is a robbery!”; Vigoa's friends began raking in the money. The robbery lasted 2 minutes, and on the 3rd one, they already got into the car. Leaving, the group noticed that a car was chasing them. Jose opened the window and shot the wheels. At Bellagio, robbers took $ 200 thousand. And the total profit, taking into account previous thefts, amounted to $ 2 million.
The FBI explored the videos and quickly identified Vigoa. Presented before the court, Jose uttered his famous phrase: “In my world, you are either a hunter or prey. I prefer to be the hunter. And Vegas is my prey. ” On that day, he got sentenced to life imprisonment.