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Crime Fighters

As Sergeant Friday used to say, you just don't know about some people

Crime Fighters

In anticipation of next month’s special section on casino security and surveillance, I’ll concentrate this latest edition of “Casino Industry Crime Blotter” on a few weird security and surveillance stories from last month.

First, a security officer who worked for a casino in Arizona actually took his gun and robbed the casino’s vault.

Let’s contemplate that for a moment.

It was the casino where he worked. He walks up to the casino vault and basically says, “Stick ‘em up.” After collecting about $132,500 and stuffing it in a bag, the guy actually felt he had to lead police officers on a high-speed chase to try to get away.

He was “heavily disguised,” according to one article I saw. He later claimed that it was a disguised accomplice who actually robbed the casino, but the surveillance video made it plain it was the guard himself robbing the casino vault.

Just one question: What was the guy’s disguise? What was the disguise he thought would let him rob his own casino?

Was he masked like Zorro? Was he in a clown suit?

Was he a ninja? I’m guessing ninja.

In any event, it was no joke that he pointed an AR-15 rifle at two other officers, stuffed money in a bag… then, that bewildering high-speed chase.

“HA! No one recognized me. My ninja was too good…”

Not surprisingly, the guy was arrested at the end of the chase, and reportedly shot his rifle a couple of times—according to him because he was frightened; he wasn’t really shooting at police.

So, first, he thought his disguise would result in the perfect crime. Next, he thought he could outrun the cops to… I don’t know where… And ultimately, he determined that his situation would be best improved by firing an automatic weapon a couple of times as police converged.

As Sergeant Friday used to say, you just don’t know about some people.

Turning to the eastern shore of Maryland… Oh, come on. I’m sure Sergeant Friday said that at some point.

Anyway, in Maryland, a woman was kicked out of the Casino at Ocean Downs by security guards for breast-feeding her baby in an empty lobby. Not good, but get a load of what the security guards told her when they kicked her out.

According to my favorite magazine, People:

“Alanna Panas of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, says she was trying to soothe her crying baby in the casino lobby on a rainy January 3 when she began to breast-feed. But casino security told her to leave because the baby was not 21 years old and that the baby was a security threat.”

I swear I did not make that up. I really got it from People magazine. First, the casino’s security guards told the lady the baby was underage.

Good call! They must have been real pros!

“Ma’am, may I see the baby’s ID?”

“She doesn’t have an ID. She’s a baby.”

“Well, I’m sorry, but I’m determining she’s not 21 years of age.”

“She’s not. She’s 7 weeks old.”

“Ma’am, you’ll need to put your breast away and leave the premises immediately. The baby’s underage.”

But as much as that got my attention, what really got me was that they called the baby a “security threat.” Did they think it was a baby…er, booby trap? A Trojan Baby?

Because it looked like, you know, a baby.

The mother, naturally, wrote all about it on Facebook, and Ocean Downs posted an apology on Facebook on behalf of “any staff member” who “did not help make the guest’s experience enjoyable.”

Speaking of enjoyable guest experiences, over in Baltimore, security guards at the new Horseshoe casino logged eight physical altercations between guests, or some combination of guests and guards, during the month of November.

November 10: “An intoxicated female subject was arrested by BCP (Baltimore City Police) for assaulting a security guard. A male subject and a female subject became involved in a physical altercation at Pit 2. The subjects were separated and then evicted.”

“November 21: Two (2) female subjects became involved in a physical altercation and were evicted.”

Wow. One fight between a male and female subject, and another between two (2) female subjects.

The list of altercations goes on, with one guy damaging a television, four guys fighting in the parking garage… The casino’s security staff is to be commended, because they dealt with just about everything in November that security people would ever have to deal with. There were only two things missing from the list.

That’s right. No mothers had to be wrestled to the ground for breast-feeding.

And there wasn’t an underage baby in sight.

Frank Legato
Frank Legato is editor of Global Gaming Business magazine. He has been writing on gaming topics since 1984, when he launched and served as editor of Casino Gaming magazine. Legato, a nationally recognized expert on slot machines, has served as editor and reporter for a variety of gaming publications, including Public Gaming, IGWB, Casino Journal, Casino Player, Strictly Slots and Atlantic City Insider. He has an B.A. in journalism and an M.A. in communications from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. He is the author of the books, How To Win Millions Playing Slot Machines... Or Lose Trying, and Atlantic City: In Living Color.  

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