Think all Las Vegas crime involves switching chips at the table when no one is looking? Think again. Despite excellent security and the police department’s commitment to keeping Las Vegas Boulevard looking squeaky clean, free from crime (on the surface at least), Las Vegas has been the setting for some pretty epic kidnappings, heists, and other crimes. Aside from all the great casino games, there is also some pretty hectic action. Here’s our top 3. Or should we say bottom?
Steve Wynn’s daughter gets kidnapped
When you’re a multi-billionaire with major Las Vegas hotels in your arsenal, you’re bound to get big time media attention. And, unfortunately, you’re also bound to get the attention of criminals who want a piece of your money.
I wish this were a story of a couple people robbing a casino. But it’s not. Instead, it’s the story of how Steve Wynn’s daughter Kevyn was kidnapped. This was back in 1993 before GPS and tracking devices (I’m guessing a guy like Wynne has chips implanted in his loved ones in this day and age – I know I would).
His then-26-year-old daughter was abducted by two armed men from her home in an upscale Las Vegas neighborhood. The kidnappers demanded $2.5 million from Wynn, but he only had $1.45 million on hand (must be nice, right?). They settled for that amount and Wynn dropped the money off in a parking lot. True to their word, the criminals told Wynn where to find his daughter. She was tied up in an airport parking lot at McCarran International Airport. Thankfully, other than being scared out of her mind, she was safe.
The criminals were eventually caught when they tried to buy a new Ferrari with $200,000 in cash. Needless to say, they’re still in prison.
Motorcyclist rides up to Bellagio, swipes $1.5 million
Do you know why you don’t hear too much about crime happening on the Las Vegas strip? It’s because casinos have ridiculously solid security systems. Driving up to a casino, robbing the place, and driving off would get you noticed, tackled, and cuffed in seconds, especially since your face would likely be visible. And you can bet the house that if you walked into a casino wearing a mask, you wouldn’t get remotely close to the casino entrance before being arrested.
But what if your mask was a motorcycle helmet? And what if your getaway car only had two wheels and was capable of merging in and out of traffic and dodging cars effortlessly? That was Anthony Carleo’s plan when he rode up to the Bellagio on his bike, marched into the casino, and stole $1.5 million in chips as he brandished a handgun. He was eventually caught and is currently serving time.
When OJ Simpson was found not guilty for murdering his ex-wife, many balked at the justice system, arguing that the case was cut and dry and Simpson was guilty. But he got off and served zero time.
Those who wanted to see some sort of justice done can take solace in the fact that Las Vegas came to the rescue. Simpson is now serving a 33-year sentence for armed robbery and kidnapping after trying to steal hundreds of pieces of memorabilia from dealers. Unbeknownst to him, the dealers were recording everything and Simpson was caught.