There’s been some pretty shocking heists in the history of Las Vegas. Luckynuggetcasino.com has decided to take a look at some of the most infamous heists in the history of casinos. Take a look at our extensive lists below.
Circus Circus Theft (1993)
Heather Tallchief was just a regular woman who lived a normal life. Well, that was until she drove an armoured truck into the Circus Circus casino in 1993. Tallchief, who was part of an organised heist, took home $2.95 million and disappeared from the face of the planet for 11 years.
It was more than a decade later when Tall Chief surrendered to Las Vegas authorities – which she eventually did in 2005. Of course, as you would expect, she took full responsibility for what she did, and claimed it was mounting guilt and stress that caused her to hand herself in. Boyfriend, and alleged accomplice Roberto Solis is still at large.
Tallcheif got away lightly, it seems, after being sentenced to 5 years and 3 months in prison. Fast forward to 2016 and yes, that means she’s now free.
Biker Bandit Heist (2010)
Anthony Carleo, also known as the ‘Biker Bandit,’ single-handedly stole $1.5 million worth of casino chips from the Bellagio in 2010. In what seemed like a scene from a Hollywood thriller – Casino Royale, potentially – Carleo strolled into the Bellagio, walked up to a craps table, pointed a gun at the face of a croupier and demanded chips. He then ran out, screaming at security to move and riding away on his motorcycle.
Unfortunately, greed let Carleo down, as he stole large denominations of chips which were incredibly difficult to shift on to other nefarious individuals. He initially tried to sell them via an internet poker website under the e-mail address [email protected] This, of course, refers to the colour of the notorious $25k chips. He even signed off e-mails as the ‘biker bandit,’ which was how he developed his notorious nickname. 7-weeks later, after being sniffed out by undercover cops who posed as potential customers, he was arrested and locked away for up to 27 years. Further investigations suggested that Carleo was also involved in another robbery at the Suncoast Casino in 2010. Shocking.
Bellagio Cashier Cage Robbery (2000)
Again, it’s another attack on the Bellagio and another unsuccessful heist. In the early days of the 21st century a number of stings occurred on the streets of Las Vegas. This, of course, included the Bellagio.
Two body-armour laden men allegedly jumped over the cashier cage and stole near on $160,000 in cash – yes, cash. They then fired warning shots in an attempt to get people out of the way – it, of course, worked. Soon after the incident the police were able to arrest Oscar Sanchez Cisneros, Jose Manuel Vigoa and Luis Suarez. Each of them would have been 23, 40 and 35 respectively.
Four months later Cisneros committed suicide.
It became apparent that Vigoa was responsible for multiple casino robberies and the killing of two armoured truck drivers. Apparently, before the plea arrangement, Vigoa attempted to escape jail. In 2002 he was sentenced to four life sentences with no parole and up to 760 years in prison for all of his crimes. One of the longest sentences ever issued by a judge. Suarez, in comparison, was given 15 years in prison and was ordered to pay $150,000 in restitution. This string of robberies prompted MGM resorts to install bars around each of its strip cashier cages.
Treasure Island Robbery (2000)
Reginald Johnson, at the age of 27 strolled into Treasure Island, approached one of the security team and fired a single shot straight at the guard. He then casually walked to the cashier, fired another shot in the air and then simply walked out, empty handed. This, it seems, was a repeat attempt of a robbery Reginald, and his bother Donnell, were suspected of pulling off a few months before.
Police caught R. Johnson walking down Lake Mead Boulevard just hours after the attempted robbery. Authorities were already hot on the heels of R. Johnson because of the aforementioned robbery.
R. Johnson eventually pleaded guilty in January 2001 to all three robberies. In March, 2001, a judge sentenced him to 130 years in prison after R. Johnson seemed to just sit back and laugh at videos of him shooting security guards. A harsh, but ultimately fair sentence.
Stardust Robbery (1992)
Ever seen Sting in the music video’Englishman in New York’? It’s a smooth, sleek, suave gentleman strolling through the bustling metropolis. Well, if you know what I’m talking about, the suspect William John Brennan is pretty much just as cool. One day, out of the blue, Brennan disappeared with $500,000 worth of cash and chips. He’s never been seen since. He simply disappeared.
Employees at the Stardust went on to describe Brennan as a clean-cut guy who honed from Pennsylvania, who generally kept to himself. A warrant was released for his arrest, but he hasn’t been found since.
So, there you have it, a list of some of the most infamous casino heists in America. Love our list? Want more like this? Bookmark this blog and keep up to date with Canada’s number one online casino!