Robbing a casino is an idea that has captured the public’s imagination for decades. After all, casinos clearly have a great deal of money, and taking some of it seems like a sure fire way to not have to work for the remainder of your life. The only problem is, of course, that these days casinos also have a great deal of something else; security. Plus, an online roulette game is very difficult to rob at gunpoint!
And so films like Oceans 11 depict cunning, fast talking individuals who undergo crazy schemes to rip off casinos, and not harm a hair on a person’s head in the process. It makes for good light hearted entertainment. In the real world, however, a casino robbery would very likely not be such a charming affair. Guns would likely have to be fired, security personal possibly assaulted, and there would be a great deal less charming banter.
Here is a look at a few famous casino robberies that happened in real life.
Now You See Him, Now You…
Often referred to as the most notoriously low key robbery in history, the Stardust Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas was robbed of about $500,000 in 1992. You would think such an enormous amount leaving the premises would have set off red lights and warning alarms, but nothing of the sort happened. In fact, the casino didn’t even know it had happened for some time after it had occurred. How does such a thing possibly happen?
Bill Brennan has been an employee of the casino for some time, a softly spoken man that that did little but attend his job as a cashier, without causing much of a fuss. That’s why when Bill walked out of the casino carrying a bag in 1992; the security didn’t even think to search him. They likely bid him a fond farewell. Little did security know that the bag he was carrying held a half a million in stolen casino chips and cash. Amazingly, Bill has not been seen since, and is still on a wanted list.
Just Keep Driving
A similar but far less successful casino robbery can be attributed to an armoured car driver, Heather Tallchief. It was her job to transport casino cash from one destination to another, and one day decided to simply keep driving with it. Such a thing would be impossible in more modern times, since armoured vehicles are fitted with trackers.
Heather vanished for 12 years after the robbery, but unexpectedly turned herself in at a police station. She blamed her apparently manipulative boyfriend Roberto Solis for planning the whole thing, but many speculate he simply ran out on her with all the money, leaving her destitute. The amount stolen was about $2.3 million dollars, which has still never been recovered to this day.
Not The Smartest Cookie
Another well-known casino robbery story is that of the so-called Biker Bandit. He walked into the Bellagio in Las Vegas wearing a fashionable biker helmet, and robbed the place of $1.5 million in casino chips. Of course, the chips themselves have no value, and had to be sold. The biker took to the Internet in order to do so, and was not too subtle about where he had got them. In fact, it was reported that he bragged to potential buyers about the robbery.
In what can only be described as a bizarre way for a man on the run to behave, he even sent one potential buyer two chips, and signed the note attached with the name “Biker Bandit.” The man would very likely have been caught, even if the person he sent the chips to had not been a police officer. The Biker Bandit was quickly caught and sentenced to a lengthy prison stay. Of all the robbers on this list, the Biker Bandit is certainly the least subtle.
High Tech Wizardry
And the subtlest on this list is the story of two students in the 1970s that robbed casinos without so much as raising a gun, or even speaking a harsh word. The details of the story is sketchy, with little solid information about what exactly occurred. This has been at the request of the casinos affected, which fear giving others similar ideas.
The story goes that one of the students had a device attached to the top of their shoe, that in some way took readings from the roulette wheel, apparently giving information on the chances of which pockets the ball was likely to land in. This student communicated with the second, allowing accurate bets to be placed, and money to be won hand over fist. The two apparently got away with it for some time, and made a considerable amount of money. They were, however, eventually caught and charged. These two students certainly get the first place prize for being the most subtle and high tech on the list, especially since it was the 1970s, and there was not a smartphone in sight. Either way, they are likely still behind bars to this very day.