How to take $15,000 from an MGM casino in the blink of an eye… and it’s not what you think

  • Guest strolls out of MGM National Harbor $15,000 up, and not in the usual way
  • Went to cloak room to collect coat, but decided she wanted something else

Casinos are some of the securest places in the world, right up there with bank vaults and cash counting centres. In real life, Ocean’s 11 just wouldn’t happen.

Try to make it out the door with $15,000 you’d stolen and you wouldn’t get far – to the end of the car park if you were lucky. The eye in the sky is always watching and the men on the ground are always listening with their earpieces and uncanny ability to spot a hustler at 100 paces.

MGM National Harbour
There’s more than one way to leave a casino with your hands full…

As formidable as Fort Knox?

It’s true that the innards of the average casino are an unassailable stronghold, as formidable as Fort Knox. But it turns out there are other ways to relieve a casino of its riches if you’re enterprising, unscrupulous and as bold as brass.

One opportunistic visitor recently walked out of MGM National Harbor casino $15,000 richer after committing daylight robbery and yet, at the time, staff were none the wiser.

Red faces all round

That’s because the woman didn’t help herself to chips or cash. Instead she went for a less obvious, but no less valuable commodity – a mink fur coat. A $15,000 mink coat to be precise. When a diner at the casino’s José Andrés seafood restaurant reported her prized jacket missing, staff were baffled initially.

That bewilderment swiftly turned to red faces all round after a review of security footage revealed how easily the coatroom attendant had been duped into handing it over to a different patron altogether. The suspect, Ross Aviles, left her own jacket in the same cloakroom – a jacket that cost significantly less than the $15,000 full-length grey mink it should be noted.

Upon returning to fetch her jacket, the 45-year-old Aviles failed to find it. It was at this stage that the attendant committed a major error, permitting the woman to wander the cloakroom with an invitation to pick out her jacket if she could find it.

$15,000 walked out the door

Seemingly on impulse, Rosa Aviles decided that she wasn’t so bothered by retrieving her own black and white chequered jacket after all – she liked the look of the mink one instead.

The brazen diner then slipped on the luxury fur coat and walked out in it, much to the anguish of her fellow diner who was to discover, shortly afterward, that her prized possession was gone. Aviles would have gotten away with it as well if it wasn’t for the efforts of an eagle-eyed police officer who recognised the suspect from security footage, having previously worked in the same office as her.

The moral of the story? Don’t steal fur coats. Also, don’t leave your fur coat in the MGM cloakroom while you go for dinner. The casino has presumably beefed up its lost property policy since this incident, but when you’re talking about such a sentimental and extremely valuable item, perhaps it’s best to keep that baby with you at all times. Just to be safe.

* The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Casinopedia

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