Las Vegas casinos, and casinos around the world for that matter, have long been thought to be among the most secure locations there are. That’s no surprise, considering the amounts of cash they’ve got on site that needs to be protected. Nonetheless, some enterprising, fearless criminals have been successful at carrying out some of history’s greatest casino heists. What makes them great is that they’re the kind of stunts people could only imagine happening in movies like Ocean’s 11; yet they were quite real. Take a look at the infographic below for details on some of the most brazen casino heists in history.
1. Half a Million in the Bag
When it comes to “having someone working on the inside”, it doesn’t get any smoother than the casino heist Bill Brennan got away with at Las Vegas’ Stardust Casino in 1992. A casino cashier, Brennan simply took $500,000 in cash and chips and walked out with them in his backpack, undisturbed by security, who recognized him as an employee. He remains “at large” and has never had to pay for his transgression.
2. Bandit Plays His Accomplice and Gets Away with $2.5 Million
Heather Tallchief and her boyfriend Roberto Solis pulled off a $2.5 million heist from Circus Circus, in Las Vegas in 1993, when they sped off in an armored car. Solis then betrayed his girlfriend and left her high and dry, keeping all the money for himself, never to be found.
3. Not All Casino Heists End Well for the Thieves
A 3-man team robbed the Bellagio in 2000, sporting body armor and carrying guns. They swiped $160,000 in cash but were caught 4 days later. One of the bandits killed himself awaiting trial; his accomplices had to restitute the money and were hit with harsh prison sentences by the courts.
4. Technology Wins the Day… and £1.3 million
Back in 2004, a 3-person team devised a method to use a laser scanner to accurately predict the results of roulette wheel spins at London’s Ritz Casino. Though it wasn’t an outright casino heist, the team was prosecuted as the casino tried to reclaim their £1.3 in lost funds. The judge ruled in favor of the “techno-thieves”.
5. The “Biker Bandit” Steals the Wrong Kind of Chips
Keeping his motorcycle helmet on the entire time so as to avoid being recognized by casino cameras, Anthony Carleo robbed 2 Las Vegas casinos in late 2010, the Suncoast for $20,000 and the Bellagio for $1.5 million. In his Bellagio haul, however, he scooped up not cash, but special casino chips that had tracking mechanisms inside them, which could only be redeemed back at the casino. Trying to peddle the casino chips to would-be buyers, Carleo was eventually arrested.