Money is a powerful force, one which drives many to great lengths. Desperation, greed and plain insanity push some to take extreme measures, committing hairbrained robberies, hijackings, or even heists, and a casino is the perfect place for such antics to play out.
These are some of the biggest casino heists in history.
The Soboba Casino Heist – 2007
In 2007, Ronaldo Ramos and his accomplice Eric Aguilera attempted a most humorous grab and dash, running off with $1.5 million in cash.
They were both low-level security personnel at the casino. Ronaldo was working to install security cameras around the venue, which allowed him to gain access to the massive amount of cash. He held 10 of his fellow employee’s hostage at gunpoint before running out with cash in hand to be picked up in a get-away car driven by Ronaldo Ramos.
He later admitted that he was in fact only holding a BB gun, and reportedly asked the police whether he had trumped the Oceans 11 heist, blaming cocaine for his brash actions.
The Circus Circus Casino Heist – October 1993
Heather Tallchief, a 21-year-old armoured truck driver, managed to pull off one of the most high-profile heists to date. Her partner, an ex-convict by the name of Roberto Solis, is assumed to have aided in planning the robbery, although he wasn’t involved directly.
On her usual rounds filling up ATMs around the casino, she skipped the last one and drove off with $2.5 million in the back of the truck. It took some time for the casino to realise that she was not in fact stuck in traffic, and that they’d just caught in the biggest heist in history. A full-blown search was initiated, but by then she was long gone.
12 years later, Heather surrendered to the police and claimed that she felt remorse for her crimes and wanted her 10-year-old son to lead a normal life. Robert obviously didn’t agree, leaving her with $1000 and fleeing with the rest. After hearing her plea, they released her from prison after a 5-year sentence.
Some conspiracy theorists will still tell you they committed the perfect crime, and that the couple hid the cash and are now living comfortably without a worry.
The Crown Casino Heist – 2013
In another inside job gone wrong, New Zealand millionaire James Manning teamed up with a high-ranking employee to pull off the heist at Perth’s Crown Casino.
To get access to the access to the VIP only services and high-limit card tables, James announced he would be purchasing their famous $12 500 cocktail the following weekend. In one night, Manning succeeded in an unprecedented 8 hand winning streak, earning him a whopping $32 million in a single evening.
He had bet against the odds on all his hands, raising the suspicion of the casino security who decided to investigate. They quickly found that the casino’s camera network which monitored the VIP room had been breached, and that one of the VIP managers had been giving James signals at the table which helped him to win. The manager was of course fired, and Manning was let off rather lightly with a life ban from the casino.