Danny Ocean and his gang of thieves aren’t the only ones who can plan a good heist. Every 5 years or so, someone comes up with a brazen and audacious scheme to rob a Las Vegas casino. While not always successful, the planning, effort, and manpower that are put into these robberies range from spectacular to downright questionable.
We’ll take a look at our top 3 favorite Las Vegas casino heists and let you decide whether or not you would’ve done it a tad bit differently.
‘Biker Bandit’ Bucks Bellagio
In December 2010, a man named Anthony Carleo, aka the ‘Biker Bandit’, rolled into the Bellagio looking for something a little more high stakes than your typical game of roulette.
The Bandit rolled up to the front of the casino in a motorcycle, walked right up to the nearest Craps table, pulled out a gun, and then demanded a boatload of chips. Brazen? Yes. Smart? That remained to be seen.
While he was able to evade authorities for just over seven weeks, his post-heist plans left much to be desired. He began selling the chips online through an Internet poker website, under the name ‘Cranberrykid25’. While it seemed like he was going to get away with the heist, he failed to account for his eventual downfall.
While robbing the craps table blind for all of its chips, the Bandit ended up securing too many different denominations of chips and Metro Police were able to track him down. In a bitter taste of irony, the Bandit ended up being apprehended where it all started, at the Bellagio, as he was unknowingly attempting to sell chips to undercover police officers.
He is currently serving up to 27 years in prison.
Stealing From The Star
Over 20 years ago, one of the most successful and unsuspecting heists took place on the Las Vegas strip.
In a heist even your grandma could pull off, a sports book cashier simply walked out with a bag of $500,00.00. That was it. No bells, no whistles, no exciting chase down.
William John Brennan, the man who stole the money, still has not been apprehended to this day. He was immediately charged with an unlawful taking of goods or money without the use of violence or threats, yet in 2015 there’s still been no sign of Brennan. It’s as if he simply vanished out of thin air.
The casino is now gone, the money has never been recovered, and Brennan is presumably enjoying his days on a beach somewhere in the South Pacific.
All in all, a pretty successful heist.
No Clowning Around
The last one on our list is from 1993 and has an element that our other two heists don’t have – love.
Heather Tallchief and Roberto Solis, dating at the time, decided that instead of enjoying a Cirque show or playing a few rounds of blackjack, they’d rob one of Las Vegas’ most famous casinos – Circus Circus.
Using a Loomis armoured truck, the couple made off with over $2.5 Million and were able to evade authorities as they seamlessly snuck out of the country and into what many believe to be the Cayman Islands.
After the escape, Solis left Tallchief and their son. Both spent the next 12 years on the run until finally Tallchief, surprisingly, decided to turn herself in. She claimed that she had enough of living on the run and that the guilt had completely consumed her.
Solis still remains at large, along with the money, so the investigation remains ongoing.
Would have the guts to pull off any of these heists? Would you steal $2.5 Million to appease your boyfriend? Or, would you be audacious enough to walk back into the scene of the crime after you had just robbed it over hundreds of thousands of dollars?
Everyone has his or her own style and as you can see, the getaway is just as important and just as risky as the robberies themselves.
Let us know what you think of these heists and we’ll do a part II of this article in the next few weeks.