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Weird Crime

Unsightly offenses and criminal masterminds

Weird Crime

It’s time again for our semi-regular feature “Casino Crime Blotter,” which I last did one year ago, in December 2021. (OK, so it’s our annual feature.) I do this when I find multiple stories that constitute strange, unusual or just plain funny situations caused by the criminal element when they happen to visit gaming establishments.

Casino security has its hands full these days, as the incidents seem to be getting more bizarre. For instance, speaking of hands, there was a guy arrested in Oregon last month for parking himself outside of the hotel rooms at the Chinook Winds Casino Resort and proceeding to, umm, pleasure himself with great enthusiasm, for all to see.

The responding police officer wrote in his report that six hotel guests used the same wording as the original caller, saying the guy was “going to town.” The officer shouted, “Police! Stop!” He didn’t. He walked away, while continuing to “go to town.”

Eventually, the officer caught up with the guy and placed him under arrest. It was easy, of course, because by that time, the guy had gone blind.

Meanwhile, police in York County, Pennsylvania, have identified a suspect accused of stealing $1,226—from a kiosk. Someone had left the cash sitting on top of a betting kiosk. A man came along and saw a wad of cash sitting there, and he picked it up and left the casino. The “thief” was easily identified by a surveillance photo the guy could have used for his passport.

First, yes, he probably should have reported finding the cash to a casino employee and turned the money over. Pennsylvania, where this occurred, actually has a law on the books for this situation.

States wrote laws to counter what was always common law, back to the schoolyard: “Finders Keepers, Losers Weepers.” (You’ll find it in the law books alongside “Liar, Liar, Pants On Fire.”) It means if you find something, it’s yours, and tough beans to whoever lost it.

Pennsylvania’s law refers to “Theft of Property Lost, Mislaid or Delivered by Mistake.” A person is guilty of this offense if “the offender comes into control of the property of another person; the offender knows that the property was lost, mislaid or delivered by mistake; and the offender fails to take reasonable measures to restore the property” to the person who lost it.

But what about the “victim” in this case? Who leaves $1,226 in cash sitting on a kiosk? It’s like George Bailey’s Uncle Billy in It’s A Wonderful Life, who left $8,000 in cash sitting there, only to be snatched up by evil millionaire Lionel Barrymore… I mean Mr. Potter. Had that happened in Pennsylvania, Potter would have been arrested, the money would have been returned to Bailey Building & Loan, and they wouldn’t have had a movie. Good thing it happened in Bedford Falls, I guess.

(I really hope you’ve seen It’s A Wonderful Life, or that last bit wouldn’t have made any sense. Go stream the film and watch it. Then you can come back and laugh.)

Finally, last month a man took a taxicab to Resorts World on the Las Vegas Strip, after which he promptly walked to one of the cages and robbed the casino of an undisclosed amount.

News reports said he showed a note to the cashier, after which the cashier gave him a bag of cash. He then got back into the same taxi he arrived in, and was off into the wind.

What’s wrong with this picture? No, it’s not that the guy managed to rob a casino with a note. It’s his mode of transportation that caught my eye.

Who takes a taxi anymore? This guy’s never heard of Uber?

What’s really strange is that he used a taxi as his getaway car. “Just wait here, driver. I’ll be right back.” Smart thinking. You never want to commit a robbery and then try to hail a cab holding the bag of stolen loot before security or the police get there. (I hate when that happens.)

I’m guessing the labor shortage after the pandemic is why he couldn’t afford to have a getaway driver. Hey, we all have to do our part to work with what we have. Maybe he’ll be able to afford an accomplice next time, since, you know, he has money now. Or maybe he’ll just use Uber.

Driver: “Are you Larry?”

Robber: “Are you Malik? I’d appreciate if you can step on it… Hey, are these peanuts for anybody?”

Personally, I like to use valet when I rob a casino. That way, I’m sure to have cash to tip the attendant who brings my car. Smart, huh?

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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