Casino Heists Gone Wrong

For every successful fictional casino heist pulled off by the likes of Ocean’s Eleven, there are just as many real life attempts that have gone spectacularly wrong due to poor planning, flawed execution or just blind stupidity. Here are some of the most unsuccessful casino heists ever, as discovered by our friends at
The Pepper Spray Plot
Who: Two men wearing black wigs and sunglasses, one known only as ‘Carlos’
Money taken: $115,000 in chips
How: The two heavily-disguised men entered the Bellagio in Las Vegas and approached a high-stakes blackjack table one night. As one pepper-sprayed the players and dealer, the other grabbed a stack of chips from the table and the two fled the scene. Although ‘Carlo’ escaped, 24-year old Michael Quinn Belton was caught by a pit boss and put in a headlock. He was later arrested and charged with robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery and burglary. The chips were recovered at the scene.
Who:  Akingide Cole, 31
Money taken: $1.6 million in chips
How: Cole was able to gain access to a restricted area of The Venetian Hotel's casino, in Las Vegas, and took over a million dollars in chips of different values. He managed to dodge all security personnel and equipment, and was not seen with a gun – such were his stealthy tactics. Unfortunately for Cole, the chips themselves were mostly of such high individual values that they would be easily traceable if brought back into the casino – meaning that he was unable to fence the exceedingly valuable stolen property. He was arrested after being found hiding out at his mum’s house.
One Job Too Many
Who: Jose Vigoa
Money taken: several million dollars
How: Born in Cuba but trained as a soldier in the Soviet Union, Jose Vigoa rose through the ranks of the Las Vegas underworld and ended up arming his gangs with the most destructive weaponry. He carefully planned and executed jobs on casinos all over Las Vegas for many years until on one fateful night, he decided to be spontaneous in knocking off another casino. He was caught on camera without any of the masks or helmets he’d worn for the old jobs, tried and sentenced to 500 years in prison. His life story is now a bestselling book; for each heist there are details of the plan, how much they wanted to steal, who was involved and any other interesting facts.
High on Crime
Who: Rolando Luda Ramos
Money taken: $1.58 million
How: Ramos was hired to carry out maintenance and repairs on the security cameras of Soboba Casino in California. One day while allegedly on cocaine, Ramos was escorted into the vault by security to fix cameras when he instead disconnected them and pulled a gun on the employees at the casino, who filled a duffel bag for him after he pepper sprayed one of them. In his defence he cited memory loss, and accused an accomplice who knew how to work the cameras, who was arrested along with a girlfriend. The money was recovered.
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