Most Daring Casino Heists In Las Vegas
Prior to delving into the depths and details of some of the most daring Heists in the history of Vegas, it is important that we understand exactly what the term ‘Heist’ means. . By definition, the word heist refers to unlawful taking or in other words – robbery, be it forceful or otherwise.
This is why it is considered a heist when a casino is swindled or robbed by an individual or a group, irrespective of whether that individual or group worked for the casino itself or were outsiders. Having said all of that, you should rest assured that such heists are rare events and it should not discourage you from getting your fix of gambling and gaming fun in all of the best casinos that Vegas has to offer. This is intended to be a purely informational article meant to entertain and serve as light reading.
Obviously, the information provided within this article is from reputable sources and reports that we know to be true to the best of our knowledge. This is not first-hand information. You will also notice that while some heists are the handiwork of organized criminal gangs, there are some heists where the credit goes to purely one individual. So, without any further ado, let’s take a look at some of the most daring Vegas heists till date.
The Bellagio Robbery of 2010
The man behind this infamous heist was then 29 year old dare devil thief Anthony Carleo. It is said that Carleo was as cool as a cucumber throughout the robbery. Supposedly, he rode to the Bellagio Casino on his motorcycle and walked right in with his helmet still on. He then proceeded to walk straight up to the Craps table and without hesitation, began to loot all of the casino chips he could get his hands on.
For those of you unfamiliar with the game of Craps, it is essentially a dice game which is played on a table and supervised\hosted by casino moderators or dealers to ensure that the game is played in a fair manner.
Like with any other casino game players use casino chips or coins of different colors and values in order to make bets in the game of Craps. It is these casino coins that Carleo stole.
One report says that he stole $1,500,000 worth of chips.
The ‘Bike Bandit‘ tried to later sell these on the internet. He expected that he could not be traced. However, with all the advanced tracking facilities, he was caught and tried.
This crime was committed by a single thief and had this person not tried to sell the chipshe would have remained untraced.
This wasn’t Carleo’s first casino robbery either, he had stolen from another casino prior and had remained at large until, of course, he was caught after the Bellagio heist of 2010.
New York Post
The Circus Theft
This heist was committed in 1993 at the Circus Casino, Las Vegas. There are two aspects to this theft which make it rather unique.
To start with, this robbery was executed by a man and his lover. This robbery was committed by this duo not for fun alone but the amount stolen, $2.5 million, making it a heist of the first order.
The second aspect about this theft was that the man who masterminded the entire event was a seasoned criminal that worked under various identities. The man was Roberto Solis and the woman was Heather Tallchief. The lady was employed as a driver by Loomis Armor Inc now Loomis.
One day when the armored truck carrying cash for the casino arrived at the site and people were slowly getting ready to transfer the funds observing correct protocol. However, Ms. Heather Tallchief had other plans. She simply drove off with the cash. Before people could figure out what the lady was up to, she had disappeared with the cash – and was gone for good.
The pair remained “>untraceable for almost twelve years and is reported to have fled to Netherlands.
After twelve years, she surrendered before law and it was revealed that her boyfriend had ditched her and she was having his baby. She said in an interrogation that after she became pregnant by him she had been ditched by Robert Solis and hardly any money was given to her. On being asked why she chose to surrender she said that she was getting tired of running away from the law.
Solis remains untraced till date and is one the most successful (for the lack of a better term) criminals throughout history. He has over twenty aliases and has a murder to his credit when he shot a guard during a robbery. He is expected to be around sixty-six years old now and has hazel eyes with brown hair and weighs about 150 pounds with his height at five feet ten inches. All these descriptions are of no use since the color of the eyes can be changed with the use of contact lenses, the color of the hair can be dyed and it is highly possible that with advanced age Solis would have put on weight.
While he is still wanted and law enforcement are on the lookout for him, with every passing day, the hopes of apprehending this mastermind robber grows a little bleaker.
The Stardust casino heist
The Stardust Casino heist is widely regarded as one of the smoothest heists in the history of casino robberies. The culprit remains at large and the sum of money that he made away with is most certainly large. Stardust Casino has been demolished and is no longer in operation.
Bill Brennan was the cashier of Stardust casino and had been working there for almost half a decade.. Being cashier, his duties obviously involved handling large amounts of cash for the casino. On one fine day as he was leaving for lunch, after his shift got over, he very casually slung his bag over his shoulder as he walked out at a comfortable speed. This bag contained more than $500,000 worth of chips and cash and no one bothered to notice him, let alone suspect and search him, since that was so very usual.
Bill Brennan, simply “vanished into thin air” and has never been seen since. Essentially he has been at large and wanted for a quarter of the century.
There are a few things which may be noted here. To start with Bill was in no hurry when he was leaving for good. No shots got fired, no chasing took place and no one bothered to notice. In fact, the surveillance cameras also did not notice him. The possibility is that he knew very accurately which areas of the casino the cameras did not cover and he walked out through the uncovered path.
Second thing, which came to light later, was that Bill Brennan was a complete loner. He stayed in a nearby apartment with his cat and did not socialize at all with friends, which is why very little known about his personal life. Yes, the employers had some difficulties with him as he wanted to become the supervisor. This demand of his was not honored since he was found to be talking to shady characters.
This heist has served as a real eye-opener to a lot of casinos in Vegas and the world over. This really marked the beginning of internal scrutiny and more thorough background checks on employees. Furthermore, it also exposed that heists committed by individuals instead of groups may actually be harder to track down since there is no question of a fall out when its only one person involved.
One swallow does not make a summer. Bill got away but then he had prepared himself adequately and had probably done the groundwork immaculately. The only question that remains unanswered is that whether he would have been better off today had he remained in the job and got paid as usual by the employer. While as per records Bill was the thief, but another alternative story has gradually gained traction. This alternative theory suggests that Bill was indeed found by mobsters and mafia working for the casino and murdered. This is a situational question, which is very difficult to contest since a person just cannot ‘vanish into thin air‘ and remain untraced for quarter of a century. The likelihood of his being ‘eliminated’ by some powerful people is a distinct possibility.