Colorado’s Monarch Casino Loses $500K in Largest Heist in State History

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The largest casino heist in Colorado history and one of the biggest in the US in recent years took place on March 12. The Monarch Casino Resort and Spa in Black Hawk, Colorado, located some 30 miles west of state capital Denver, lost more than half a million dollars.

Monarch Casino had no comment on the details of the case. “While we can confirm that the theft occurred, this is currently an active and open investigation and Monarch is making no comment,” said a spokesperson.

However, the Denver Post reports that a 44-year-old casino cashier has been jailed on suspicion of the theft. The arrested woman has not been identified, but denies culpability.

Following Orders

The accused employee was caught by multiple cameras loading $50,000 stacks of bills into a casino-owned vehicle, which she then drove to a lockbox near St Anthony’s Hospital in Denver. There. an unknown individual picked up the cash from her and left.

The twist? The employee claims she thought she was on a phone call with a casino director during the whole event. “She was just following orders that she believed had been put out by the casino,” said court documents.

Over the course of an hour, the worker spoke via text and phone to two separate men, who both convinced her they were senior employees at the casino. They told her the business needed $500,000 in cash for legal fees that night.

The Colorado Division of Gaming is investigating the theft, but has not commented on any specifics.

Theft of Huge Magnitude

The scale of this heist puts it firmly in the infamous upper echelons of US casino robbery history.

“I never heard of a casino theft of this magnitude since gaming became legal in the state in 1991,” said former Colorado Division of Gaming head Ron Kammerzell, now working as a regulatory consultant.

The previous largest casino theft in Colorado was in 2003, when a security guard stole $300,000 in chips from JPMcGills in Cripple Creek. That time, the thief was caught and apprehended within the year. However, US law enforcement hasn’t always been so efficient.

In 1992, Las Vegas’ Stardust Casino employee Bill Brennan simply walked out of the casino at the end of his shift, carrying $500,000 in cash and casino chips. He was never caught and remains at large to this day.

In 2010, Anthony Carleo stole $1.2 million in chips from the Bellagio in Las Vegas after holding table hosts at gunpoint. Unluckily for him, Carleo tried to sell the stolen chips online, and even bragged about his theft. He was eventually caught and jailed for nine years.

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