Stealing is wrong… there’s no two ways about it. It’s an absolute bummer when something you worked hard for is flogged and soul destroying if you’ve ever been the victim of fraud.

Robin Hood and Ned Kelly, however, made the whole matter of stealing not so black and white. When it comes to the following casino heists though, let’s just say that these thieves leave a lot to be desired. Here are some of the most famous casino robberies, scams and thefts ever perpetrated. Let’s just be happy they didn’t target your mates at Fair Go casino.

The most brazen heist

Perpetrators: Jose Miguel Vigoa, Luis Suarez, Oscar Sanchez Cisneros
Target: Bellagio, Las Vegas, USA
Amount: $160,000 in casino chips and cash
Date: 2000

In 2000, a group of men rocking some very fashionable body armour took on the Bellagio casino in Las Vegas. They had balls, they had a purpose and they had some very big guns. Once inside the casino, two men jumped the cashier counter and flogged as much cash as they could get their thieving little hands on, while one man acted as a lookout.

The robbers then made a quick getaway and even fired a few shots at a casino security guard. Praise the stars that nobody was hurt. The Bellagio also took a relatively modest hit, losing only $160,000 in casino chips and cash.

Unfortunately for the thieves (but fortunately for the casino), these brazen burglars were eventually identified as Jose Miguel Vigoa, Luis Suarez and Oscar Sanchez Cisneros. They all had long wrap sheets that included previous robberies and even murder.

This led to every suspect being convicted and sent to jail, where the outcomes ranged from 15 years in the slammer to reparation payments and even death by hanging. Grim, but true. The Bellagio now has bars on all its cashier cages along the strip.

The most controversial heist

Perpetrator: Bill Brennan
Target: Stardust Casino, Las Vegas, USA
Amount: $500,000 in casino chips
Date: 1992

In what many call the most controversial (and successful) casino heist, the Stardust Casino was hit by a robbery way back in 1992.

The perpetrator was a man called Bill Brennan, who had no criminal history and actually worked at the casino for over a decade. This means that he was well respected within the casino and ultimately someone that no one would expect to pull off a heist.

The story goes that Bill was given the job of examining the casino’s security system. This job involved identifying which cameras had blind spots and which could be upgraded to include better technology. While undertaking this job, he then casually crammed around $500,000 in casino chips and cash into a very average looking briefcase and walked out of the casino without alerting other security personal or being picked up on the very cameras he was meant to be reviewing.

What makes this casino heist so damn intriguing though isn’t the fact he walked right out the front door. It’s that after 25 years Bill Brennan is set to be caught. No leads, no hints and no trace at all. Gone with the wind and presumably living under a different name somewhere in Mexico or Colombia. But that’s not all…

It came out later that good ol’ Bill was actually pretty pissed when he was given this task due to the fact he was overlooked for a promotion. What’s more, the job was given to someone that had less experience to Bill, which must have rubbed extra salt in the wound. It’s now thought that this is what triggered Bill to commit the crime, so just keep that in mind next time you’re weighing up potential candidates for a promotion.

The most shocking casino heist

Perpetrators: Rolando Ramos, Eric Aguilera
Target: Soboba Casino, San Jacinto, USA
Amount: $1.5 million in cash
Date: 2007

In another case of an inside job, the Soboba Casino in California was robbed by two blokes who were (get this) meant to be guarding the casino itself.

This happened back in 2007 when an installer of surveillance cameras by the name of Rolando Ramos leveraged his technical knowledge to hack the casino’s computer system. He then got into the area where the cash was being held and took 10 employees hostage at gunpoint using what was later revealed to be a BB gun.

Ramos didn’t act alone though. His good mate and ride or die friend Eric Aguilera also helped him pull of this heist. Aguilera was a former employee of the casino and the driver of the getaway car. He picked Ramos up and the two rode off into the sunset… shortly before being snagged by cops in a short and intense police chase.

Somewhat comically, both perpetrators claimed that they had zero recollection of the incident. They instead blamed their substantial cocaine addiction on a lack of memory. Ramos even asked the police officers who arrested him if it was anything like the heist from the Ocean’s 11 movie. The police officer’s response? Get back in your cell, buddy.

The most idiotic casino heist

Perpetrator: Reginald Johnson
Target: Treasure Island Resort, Las Vegas, USA
Amount: $30,000 in cash
Date: 2000

In what we can only describe as one of the more idiotic casino heists ever undertaken, the Treasure Island Resort robberies were highly amusing due to their lack of success. Reginal Johnson, who has an awesome name but is most likely not all there, made four separate attempts to burgle this particular casino in Las Vegas.

The first two of these attempts were nothing to write home about. The third, however, had Johnson firing shots at a security guard and subsequently injuring him on his way to rob the cashier. This brought attention to his escapades and alerted more security personal, who promptly chased Johnson from the casino empty handed. The security guard eventually recovered.

As for the fourth attempt, that went much the same way except this time Johnson managed to swipe $30,000 in cash. Unsurprisingly, he was picked up by the cops and forced to plead guilty to all of the robberies in 2001. This led to a sentence of 130 years and involved a court hearing that had Johnson actually laughing at the footage of him trying to shoot the security guards. Bit of a bugger, right?

The most Aussie casino heist

Perpetrator: Not released
Target: Crown Casino, Perth, AU
Amount: $33 million
Date: 2013

The press reported this as an “Ocean’s 11 style-heist” and we tend to agree. How it went down is that a foreign gambler who was also rumoured to be somewhat of a high rolling whale infiltrated the security system at Perth’s Crown Casino and made away with $33 million due to fraud.

The foreigner, who has yet to be identified, was staying at the casino when the rip off went down. How he did it was to hack into the security cameras and used them to spy on other players’ and dealers’ cards. This, combined with the fact that he had a casino member also helping him out, means that he was able to pull off the rort of the century.

In what can only be described as a bit of irony, the fact that the Crown Casino’s security cameras were so advanced actually aided the thief. Since they can transmit high resolution images and capture even the most intricate details, he could easily see which cards were to be played right down to their suit.

Of course, this sent up alarm bells for casinos all over the world. They now have preventative measures to stop this from happening. Still, you’ve got to marvel at the sheer greed of this yet to be identified assailant. Even though he was winning cash due to his gambling skills, he still wanted to swindle more money from the casino.

The most high profile casino heist

Perpetrator: Heather Tallchief, Roberto Solis
Target: Circus Circus Casino, Las Vegas, AU
Amount: $2.5 million
Date: 1993

Love will make you do crazy things. If you’re Heather Tallchief… it might even make you rob a casino in one of the most high profile criminal cases of all time. At 21, Tallchief was employed at the Circus Circus Casino in Las Vegas as an armoured truck driver.

As the story goes, Tallchief was doing the rounds and filling up several ATM machines with cash. This was a normal duty of Tallchief and she’d done it many times before. However, instead of filling up a machine with cash on this particular day, she instead decided to skip the final ATM and continue driving the armoured car that was loaded with $2.5 million in cash.

At first, nobody suspected that Tallchief was on the lamb. The authorities and the overseers at the casino just thought she was stuck in some terrible Las Vegas traffic. After not being able to raise her on the radio though, they soon suspected that all was not well. Not long after came the moment when they realised this was a full blown heist… and that they needed to spring into action.

It then came out that Tallchief was dating an ex-convict by the name of Roberto Solis. Both of them had been planning the heist for some time and had sorted out every single detail. Whatever they did, it worked, because they made away with the cash and managed to stay underground for almost 12 years. That is until Tallchief surfaced and surrended to authorities, citing the fact that Solis had bailed with all of the cash and left her penniless.

She was eventually processed and offered a plea deal, which she smartly took. Tallchief served a total of 5 years in prison, but was it all an elaborate decoy? Some people think they pulled off the perfect heist and that she was offered up as a sacrificial lamb of sort in order to draw heat away from Solis.

The rest of this theory suggest that the money is still secretly hidden away somewhere safe and that Solis is simply waiting for Tallchief to get out of prison so they can continue living it up somewhere south of the border.

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