Land based casinos are often targets for unscrupulous criminals. But sometimes the robbery attempts can be so bizarre as to almost defy rational belief.
Unbelievable Real Life Casino Robbery Stories
Land-based casinos are often the target of brazen criminal activity. Emboldened criminals, aware that millions of dollars are held within, make attempts to get in, grab what cash they can, and disappear before security can respond.
Not a smart move, given that land-based casinos around the world are known to have impeccable security.
So, it isn’t surprising that when robberies do occur they are often less impressive than those seen in the movies. The following real life casino heist stories are nothing like Ocean’s Eleven, which isn’t surprising.
These heist stories are true, no matter how bizarre they seem.
Treasure Island – 2000
You might think that this is a script from a Guy Ritchie dark comedy, but you’d be wrong. Reginald Johnson attempted to rob Treasure Island in Las Vegas not once, but a total of three times. The first attempts ended with him leaving empty handed.
So, on the third attempt he went all out, managing to not only get away with $30,000, but shooting and injuring a security guard in the process. He was arrested a few hours after the robbery, slapped in chains, and sentenced to a total of 130 years in prison. Most insane of all is that reports say Johnson laughed hysterically during his trial. He laughed most manically when shown incriminating CCTV footage of himself carrying out the robbery.
We don’t know what’s going on with Johnson, but what we do know is that we’re glad he’s behind bars.
Stardust – 1992
Johnson might have been the loud sort of criminal, but Bill Brennan sits on the exact opposite end of the spectrum. Brennan is a bonafide legend in the world of casino criminals, being one of very few that managed to not only get away and never be caught, but also to commit the crime without anyone even noticing.
Brennan was a cashier at the Stardust in 1992, going about his job in a respectable manner. Then, one day he simply walked out for his lunch break and never returned. No one thought anything of it, only for it to suddenly be revealed that Brennan had walked out with $500,000 in a bag. He has been on the FBI most wanted list ever since, but no one has found a single clue on his whereabouts.
Ritz Casino – 2004
Last, we have a story that, really, does match up to the likes of Ocean’s Eleven. A trio of fraudsters entered the Ritz Casino in 2004, armed with just their phones. Astonishingly the trio played Roulette, seemed to have extraordinary luck, and managed to bag £1.3 million.
Only some time later was it revealed that the fraudsters were using their phones to scan the wheel, analyse complicated data, and make semi-accurate predictions.
The three were attested, probably making them wish they’d stayed home and played online Roulette instead. The charges were dropped after a lengthily and controversial trial, but the scammers won’t be setting foot in a casino again. There is still much speculation as to the phone based analyses techniques being used, long thought to have been impossible.