Was Friday’s Bellagio poker room robbery suspect the perpetrator in the same crime at the same casino in 2017? We don’t have that answer, yet. But Las Vegas Metro police floated the idea Saturday after announcing the suspect died of a gunshot wound to the chest.
The incident occurred around 9:45 pm inside a packed card room. A still unidentified armed man, seeking money, approached the cage. He exited the poker room with an undisclosed amount of cash or poker chips.
Picked the Wrong Night
Hoping to allude police, he tried to hijack a car in the north valet area. That effort was unsuccessful possibly due to the casino having extra security on hand. Another incident involving a man attempting to lure a 12-year-old from her parents occurred Friday at Bellagio.
The robbery suspect almost escaped before four police officers confronted him. He fired his gun in desperation, striking an officer who was wearing a bulletproof vest that may have saved his life. Another officer then fired back, hitting the suspect in the chest.
Police took the alleged armed robber into custody and sent him to University Medical Center for treatment. He was pronounced dead of a gunshot wound to the chest on Saturday. Undersheriff Kevin McMahill told ABC News the suspect’s name won’t be made public until family members have been notified.
The wounded officer will survive. His name also remains confidential for the time being.
Not His First Time?
To a law abiding citizen, it might seem silly, if not arrogant, to return to the scene of a crime you committed and got away with. But, according to investigators, the Bellagio poker room robber may have done just that.
In November 2017, a masked man committed the same crime, also at the Las Vegas Strip card room. He safely escaped and remains at-large. Or, dead.
Fast-forward 16 months to Friday night and that same poker room was again robbed. Undersheriff McMahill told ABC News investigators believe a connection between the two crimes may exist. But he didn’t disclose any evidence.
Was the masked man who robbed the Bellagio poker room in 2017 Friday night’s bandit? Police are investigating and we’ll likely have an answer in the coming weeks.
If the two crooks aren’t one in the same, a potentially dangerous criminal remains at large. And that begs another question; why is Bellagio’s poker room a popular target for armed robbers? For the sake of the poker community’s safety, let’s hope the threat has been eliminated.