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  • The largest Las Vegas casino robberies

    Bellagio Hotel and Casino Las Vegas

    Bellagio Las Vegas ©matze_ott/Flickr

    While gamblers feel at the losing side as they are despoiled by the slot machines (notoriously known as “armed bandits”), casinos are usually the safest places in the world. And yet, in spite of a lot of cameras, some criminals were really brazen – or crazy – enough to try to steal from the modern casinos in Las Vegas.

    While it seems in films like “Oceans 11″ , as it would be a sexy adventure to rob a casino, the reality is that these crimes do not usually end well for the perpetrators. So  here we are to present the list of some of the largest casino robberies that the city of sin has ever met. For the fans of George Clooney and Brad Pitt: they are not on the list, sorry…

    Like a thief in the night

    The Venetian Resort in Las Vegas

    The Venetian Resort ©Rafael Amado Deras/Flickr

    At the end of 2012, the Las Vegas police arrested the 31-year Akingide Cole, a man from Southern California and accused him of stealing more than 1.6 million dollars worth casino chips from The Venetian Resort. Details about how “robbery” took place are scarce, but the police said that Cole used no weapons and was confronted by no on-site security or casino employees.

    Although he managed to get away with it for a short time at least, Cole was caught when he thought things were not right, because redeeming the valuable chips would be almost impossible without admission or inference of guilt. In addition, most major casinos have a unique second set of chips, which are used to detect theft, so that it is obvious when someone is trying to make money with stolen chips.

    Motorcycle mayhem

    Bellagio Hotel and Casino Las Vegas

    Bellagio Las Vegas ©matze_ott/Flickr

    In December 2010 Anthony Carleo, also called “Biker Bandit ” appeared in a neat sports motorcycle at the front door of the Bellagio Hotel and Casino. With a leather jacket, gloves and a motorcycle helmet, the driver went to the craps table near the door and pulled a gun on the dealer. Carleo was caught as he tried to sell chips worth $25,000 to the players of an online poker site and went so far that he signed e-mails he exchanged with the individuals as “Biker Bandit”.

    Carleo, the son of a former judge in the Municipal Court, confessed to his crime when he was caught.

    Criminal footwear

    One of the most unique casino scams of all time was made by a pair of college students from the University of California at Santa Cruz in the 1970s, with a sense for technology and a penchant for shoes. The duo developed a unique computer-controlled trainers , which allowed the players at the roulette wheel both to read and to influence the game. A second player would receive the information via computerized signals through a pair of high-tech shoes.

    Although the couple managed to swindle large sums from several casinos and enjoy a 144 percent return on their missions over the years, it did not turn out to be “easy” money after all. By working with the latest technology of the day, the criminals signaled each other with painful electric shocks to the foot, some of which were so strong that they burned the socks of the wearer.

    Probably the casino employees were paying more attention when the duo was finally caught in the act and with pain in the feet.

    Without a Trace

    Stardust Hotel and Casino Las Vegas

    Stardust Hotel and Casino ©Cliff/Flickr



    Not all casino robberies end well for the criminals behind the crime, still there were a few successful stories over the years. One of the most successful casino robbery was the most simple. Bill Brennan was a cashier who worked for the Stardust Resort in 1992 and one day he put more than $500,000 in cash and chips in a backpack which he threw over his shoulder and he disappeared.

    As an employee of the Stardust, the security staff did not stop Brennan as he walked past them, got into his car and drove home. Despite its presence on the most wanted list of the FBI and a segment on America’s Most Wanted, he is at liberty to this day.

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