For the overwhelming majority of gamblers who set foot on the casino floor, the thought of committing a criminal act never enters their mind.
With the fabled “eye in the sky” watching over every square inch, casinos are assumed to be among the most secure buildings around. Thousands of cameras combined with hundreds of staff members create a sense of constant supervision, so even with millions of dollars right there for the taking, casinos tend to stay safeguarded from petty crime.
Five individuals failed to get that memo, however, leading to three separate incidences of casino criminality making headlines last week.
The first case took place back on January 11, when a victim reported being robbed at gunpoint following a session at Maryland Live Casino. The victim told police that he drove 15 miles from the casino to his home in Columbia, Maryland, where three men appeared and threatened him with a handgun.
The suspects made off with a large amount of cash, which the victim had won that night.
On January 27, however, local police arrested three individuals: Hayman Rajab Abdulrahman, Sangar Kamal Majed, and Khalil Mohammadi.
The suspects, all in their 20s and Maryland residents, were charged with a litany of crimes including armed robbery; robbery; theft from $1,000 to $10,000; using a firearm to commit a felony; conspiracy to commit robbery; and conspiracy to commit armed robbery. All three are being held without bail.
Per local police, the suspects could be seen following the victim around the casino floor and loitering near the cashier’s cage, before exiting at the same time.
The second case concerns 52-year old Kerry Johnson, who pleaded guilty to the charge of second-degree robbery on January 25.
Johnson’s guilty plea came as part of an ongoing case stemming from a bank robbery in Charleston, West Virginia on August 2.
According to authorities, Johnson was playing blackjack at the Mardi Gras Casino in the nearby town of Nitro that night. After setting a $25 chip down to save his seat, Johnson drove 20 minutes east to Charleston and entered a local bank, informing the teller that he had both a gun and bomb on his person.
Having robbed the bank of $5,000 in cash, Johnson then did the unthinkable: he drove back to the Mardi Gras and sat back down at the blackjack table.
The following day, Johnson was arrested based on an anonymous tip. In his guilty plea, Johnson told the judge that he had consumed a sizable amount of drugs that night, and while he didn’t remember the robbery, he recognized himself on surveillance footage and was sorry for his actions.
The third case occurred in Las Vegas, where a masked man entered the Silverton Casino at 8:20 p.m. local time on January 24.
Clad in a hooded sweatshirt, mask, and sunglasses to conceal his identity, the African-American man – believed to be six feet tall and in his 30s – proceeded to enter the sportsbook, before jumping through the access window and into the cashier’s cage.
After flashing a handgun to frighten sportsbook staff, the robber demanded that they fill his duffel bag with cash.
With a full load, the man ran out of the Silverton and exited via the parking garage, before using an SUV – believed to be a gold Chevrolet Tahoe which drove onto Blue Diamond Road – to make his escape.
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has requested that anyone with information or potential leads call 702-828-3855 for the mainline, or 702-385-5555 to place an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers.