When most of us think of casino heists, they exist only in movies, TV shows, books, and video games. These ones, however, are very real events that took place and various houses of chance around the world.
Few criminals are brave (or stupid) enough to attempt to rob a casino as they are some of the most well-guarded and secure places of business out there, but that hasn’t stopped everyone. Read on to find out the harrowing details of history’s most brazen casino robberies.
In March 2019, an event loaded with serendipitous coincidence took place at the renowned Bellagio Hotel and Casino. An unidentified armed man entered the casino and made off with an undisclosed amount of money from a poker cage.
In a fortunate turn of events, the Las Vegas Police Department was already present on the scene in connection with another case. Once they realised what was going on, they immediately gave chase to the suspect who was attempting to flee in a stolen car.
During the pursuit, one of the officers took a bullet in the chest which would undoubtedly have killed him had it not hit his cell phone, which was in his breast pocket. He still sustained significant injury, but thanks to a lucky twist of fate, he got to go home to his family.
The would-be robber, however, was not as fortunate. The pursuit-turned-gunfight resulted in one of the officers striking the suspect in the chest. He died a few hours after being transported from the scene.
The now infamous Reginald and Donnell Johnson have gone down in Las Vegas history as notorious and brazen criminals. Despite their grim reputation, only one of their three attempted robberies at the Treasure Island Casino bore fruit for the brothers.
Their only successful heist took place in October of 2000, when Reginald managed to get away with roughly $30 000, which is what he could have won playing online Bingo on Malaysia. Later on that same year, he and his brother made a botched attempt to recreate their robbery, causing bodily harm to several security officials in the process.
Not only did they fail to secure any cash from the establishment, but Reginald was arrested soon after the incident took place. He showed no remorse for his crimes, pleaded guilty to the three attempted robberies, and received a life sentence in jail.
Heather Tallchief, once an armoured truck driver, used one of the vehicles from her workplace to make off with an estimated $3 million. She made a clean getaway and left police officials baffled and embarrassed.
12 years after her daring escape, however, she had a change of heart regarding her criminal past and turned herself in. She made a full confession in which she explained that the burden of guilt and life on the run with her young son were too much for her to bear. In light of her confession, Tallchief received a sentence of five years and three months in prison, which she has since served.