BELLAGIO HEIST: robbers in animal masks and suits hit casino complex

  • Robbers in pig masks burst into the world-famous Bellagio at 1am
  • Clutching sledgehammers and guns they target a Rolex store

Robbers in pig masks and tuxedos. An audacious casino raid. Patrons in pandemonium. Rolexes stolen. It reads like the plot from a movie, only this isn’t Ocean’s Elevens – this is real life and it all happened at the Bellagio on Friday night.

Bellagio Las Vegas
Scene of the crime: masked robbers hit the Rolex store on Friday night

The famous Vegas casino was the scene of an audacious heist that became instant front page news. Days later and the repercussions are still being felt. Here’s a quick round-up of what we know so far:

  • At least three robbers wearing animal masks and suits forced their way into the Bellagio at 1am
  • Armed with hammers to break their way in, the men headed straight for the Rolex store
  • Guests reportedly fled the luxury hotel and casino, milling around on the strip amidst fear that an active shooter remained on the scene
  • Las Vegas police have detained several people in relation to the heist
  • Hotel guests spoke of a huge stampede in the frenzy to get away from the scene
  • After exiting, the robbers reportedly struggled to get their car to start before unsuccessfully attempting to jack a car and then fleeing on foot

Drama away from the tables

Most Friday nights in the Bellagio the excitement unfolds on the felt, but it would be fair to say that most of the drama took place away from the tables this weekend. While casino security personnel and law enforcement will be launching their own investigations into how this daring heist was allowed to happen, there are a few positives that emerge.

For one thing, no one was hurt. Given the proximity of hotel guests, the drama could have unfolded very differently. One of the more interesting aspects of the robbery is the fact that the trio headed for the watch store rather than targeting the casino directly.

Thankfully, it would seem that the days of casino cash rooms being plundered (as in Ocean’s Eleven) are gone. Instead, robbers are seeking out softer targets.

While the cost of the items stolen from the Rolex store has yet to be calculated, it’s likely to be only a fraction of the sort of money that would have been under lock and key in the Bellagio’s inner sanctum.

The very public nature of the heist will nevertheless be a cause for alarm that will surely spur the famous casino into rethinking its security strategy. The cash room might be all but untouchable, but every other high value element of a casino resort is fair game for audacious robbers.

OUR VERDICT

We’re straying into genuine movie territory with this one. The pretty audacious robbery – on what was presumably a packed Friday night in a casino – is something you just don’t actually expect to happen in real life, right? Security at casinos is pretty darn tight – it has to be – but this raid by masked robbers shows that the establishments, and the lifestyle associated with them, are potential lucrative targets for anyone daring enough. Thankfully no one was hurt in this particular case and the one thing we can take as a certainty from it is that casinos worldwide will take note and look to tighten their security even further.

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