A 25-year-old man who had previously been banned from the Ilani Casino Resort in Ridgefield, Washington, was taken down by taser and arrested last week at the casino for attempting to steal handfuls of $500 chips. Lucas Bunn, 25, of Kelso, Washington, was disguised in a gray wig and orange construction vest when he allegedly used a power drill to break into a locked chip cart.
Casino security notified the Clark County Sheriff’s Department at 7:50 am on Tuesday about a burglary in progress being captured on a security camera in the high-rollers parlor. Bunn fled when deputies arrived, but was arrested minutes later at a nearby gas station. Police took him down with a taser and recovered a grinder, grinding wheels, the construction vest, and 25 of the casino’s $500 chips. They found his gray wig nearby and did not expand further on the nature of the grinding equipment.
Bunn booted from Ilani Casino in December
Ilani security told the Clark County officers that Bunn had been kicked out of the casino and not allowed to return in December 2020 for reasons not yet made public. However, the Oregonian, which obtained the arrest affidavit, reported that Ilani security believed a man they thought to be Bunn had entered the casino on two previous occasions after being trespassed from the property. (Ilani is located in Ridgefield, Washington, just across the Columbia River from the Portland, Oregon, metro area.)
Bunn has a lengthy criminal record, with seven arrests in Washington State since 2017. He was free on bail following a mid-March arrest for burglary, possession of stolen property, and obstructing an officer at the time of Tuesday’s robbery. His $5,000 bond on those charges was raised to $10,000 during Wednesday’s initial hearing.
Bunn was charged with second-degree burglary and first-degree (felony) theft, and had bail set at $15,000. He also received a court-appointed defense attorney and faces a formal arraignment on May 12. The burglary charge carries a maximum 10-year sentence, with up to 20 years a possibility on the felony theft count.
Disguises seldom fool casino surveillance
Disguises used as part of casino crimes have ended badly more often than not. The Bellagio was the scene of two armed poker-room robberies in 2017 and 2019 by a disguised intruder who successfully escaped on his first try, but who was shot and killed during a repeat attempt.
Modern surveillance software also makes it easier than ever to identify a person despite attempts to disguise one’s appearance, as may have occurred with Bunn’s unsuccessful robbery attempt.
Even had the theft been successful, exchanging the chips for cash would’ve been no easy feat. In 2010, the notorious Bellagio “Biker Bandit” was identified through his attempts to sell off his stolen chips online, including on the twoplustwo forums.