Most daring casino heists are usually the stuff that movies are made of and stories are so bizarre that we can’t separate facts from fiction.
Multi-million-dollar casino heists are usually the stuff that movies are made of. But every once in a while, we hear stories so bizarre that we have trouble separating the facts from fiction.
Did you know that famous Hollywood films like Ocean’s Eleven and 21 were inspired by real events?
Although the plot and execution might not have been as rosy as the film portrays, the basics weren’t distorted for the sake of narration.
That’s way we are bringing the subject to your attention at this week edition from Sunday Readings.
Most daring casino heists of all time
Here’s our list of the four most daring casino heists ever recorded.
Family Business, Stardust Las Vegas – Royal Hopper was a security guard employed at Stardust who in 1991 pulled off a heist right out of a Hollywood film. As he was familiar with the guards’ schedule, Hopper enlisted one of his sons to pose as a thief as he was transporting the money one day with a colleague. The plan worked and the duo walked away with $150,000. However, Royal wasn’t happy and soon planned a second heist. This time involving both his sons. The catch was $1.1. million. The plan almost worked, but in the end, Royal Hopper was sentenced to 17 years in prison.
The Bill Brennan Disappearance, Stardust Las Vegas – Perhaps the most daring heist in Stardust’s history was back in 1992 when Bill Brennan, a cashier at Stardust Vegas suddenly disappeared. Brennan, a long-term employee, was acutely aware of the position of the security cameras and the guards’ schedule. And one fine day he packed his bags with $500,000 worth of dollar bills and casino chips and walked out undetected by the cameras or the guards. What’s more bizarre is Brennan was never caught.
Tallchief and Soils, Circus Circus Las Vegas – Back in 1993, 21-year-old truck driver Heather Tallchief was employed as the truck driver whose task was to fill up several ATMs around the casino. But on a fateful day, Heather skipped her final stop and drive off with $2.5 million in cash. It took the authorities a while to figure out what had happened and a full-blown search was initiated. There was no trace of her until the day she surrendered 12 years later. But that’s a story for another day!
Treasure Island Mayhem, Treasure Island Casino Las Vegas – Treasure Island Las Vegas, unfortunately, became the target for a deranged man called Reginald Johnson who first struck the casino in 2000, by holding two employees at gunpoint for $3,000. After being emboldened by the move, he returned for a second heist, and after firing a few rounds into the air Johnson escaped with $30,000 in cash. The casino installed security cameras soon after. When Johnson returned for the third time in December, he realized his mistake and accidentally shot a security guard in the back. He was soon arrested and convicted for multiple counts of robbery, and attempt to murder.
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