From Entertainment

The 5 Most Notorious Casino Thieves of All Times

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Let’s admit it: if we’ve been inside a casino and have played for money, at one point or another, we have asked ourselves, how much money is inside this thing/building? Many players have asked themselves that same question and actually attempted to rob these money-making machines.

I have always wished I could enter the minds of people who think they can cheat casinos. I keep wondering: 1- Did they really think they were going to get away with it? 2- What levels of bravery does one need to actually pursuit a casino robbery plan? And 3- In most cases where thieves got away with many robberies without getting caught, why did they keep going at it instead of stopping after two or three attempts?

Since I can’t really get inside their heads, let’s take a look at the top five casino robbers of all times. No, I’m not trying to rob one nor am I inviting you to do so. It’s just entertainment, people! Or to make it more intellectual: it’s just history…

5. Two Unnamed Students from University of California Santa Cruz


This was actually one of the techiest scams pursued and it happened during the 70’s. Two Physics students from UCAL Santa Cruz, invented a tiny device that was set in a shoe and read the roulette’s movement and foretold the winning number. The students kept the scam for a few months over several casinos, but were eventually caught.

4. Jose Vigoa, Luis Suarez and Oscar Sanchez


This team of three unsuccessfully tried to rob the Bellagio Casino several times. Vigoa for example, was filmed during one robbery without a mask and the trio ended up in jail and never really managed to get away with casino money for free.

3. Eric Alan Aguilera and Roland Luda Ramos


This duo successfully robbed from the Soboba Casino for a full $1.5 million in the old fashion style of gagging guards and holding hostages at gunpoint. Ramos was an employee of the Soboba and after getting caught and released from prison, he found himself without a fortune or a job!

2. Unknown Thieves


These unknown thieves were never caught from robbing the Mandalay Casino of an amount of money that was never disclosed. We can certainly bet it was A LOT! This heist took place at 4pm on a March afternoon of 2005. The robbers held the cashier at gun point and no one ever knew from which door they came in and which door they went out. It’s been speculated that the casino never disclosed such information out of shame for such poor security. It would have been an invitation to rob them, don’t you think?

1. Semyon Dukach, Mike Aponte and several students


You might have seen different movies about this MIT team of mathematicians who developed a system for counting cards in Blackjack and robbed millions of dollars in different casinos around the world. There are card counters that learned this method and are still out there winning game after game. The tradition was kept alive in the family!

Andy Cunoi

Andy is a common guy with an uncommon passion for blackjack. Currently he lives in San Francisco, California. Andy enjoys writing about gambling. Loves a simple life and his writing reflects that. He also enjoys music festivals a lot.