Gold Coast Casino Robberies Target Older Asian Women, Suspect Nabbed in Vegas

Posted on: August 3, 2023, 04:09h. 

Last updated on: August 3, 2023, 01:32h.

A man was arrested recently for allegedly repeatedly robbing elderly Asian women at, or close to, Las Vegas’ Gold Coast Hotel and Casino.

Gold Coast Hotel and Casino
The Gold Coast Hotel and Casino, pictured above. A man was arrested recently for a string of robberies that targeted elderly Asian women at or near the Las Vegas gaming property. (Image; Wikipedia)

Jephery Steward, 25, was apprehended on July 26 for the string of violent holdups during recent weeks.

He was charged with four counts of robbery of a victim over 60, and one count of larceny.

Steward was booked at the Clark County Detention Center on July 27, where he remained on Thursday. Bail was set at $75K. He is next scheduled to appear in court on August 15.

Easy Targets

Steward explained to police that elderly Asian women are “easy targets,” according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

In each of the holdups, the suspect would spot the female victim, approach her, and then yank away her purse, according to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD). In many cases, he pushed the women to the ground, and in one instance, he repeatedly punched a woman in the face, police added.

One incident on June 27 involved a woman in the Gold Coast’s parking garage. She was heading to her car when a suspect “approached her from behind,” Las Vegas TV station KLAS reported. He tried to steal her purse, but she wouldn’t let it go. He then punched her in the head and pushed her to the pavement, police said.

While she was on the floor, he repeatedly punched her three or four times. He then fled with both a Gucci purse and a Louis Vuitton purse, $1,000 cash, and credit cards.

In another incident on July 1, a woman on a bench outside the casino had her purse stolen by a suspect. She fell to the pavement, and he ran off with the Fendi purse containing three bank cards and about $5K in cash. Then on July 12, a woman was attempting to walk across the street outside the casino when a suspect grabbed her purse and cell phone. She fell to the ground and hurt her leg.

A series of similar incidents took place between June 29 and July 23, with multiple other women having their purses stolen while walking near the casino or its parking garage. Surveillance cameras captured video of the suspect robbing and attacking many of the victims, the Review-Journal reported.

Steward later explained to police he was committing the robberies because he needed money to cover costs for his fiance and children, the report added. He reportedly also wrote a letter in which he apologized to the victims.

Be Alert

After Asian workers and players were robbed at Philadelphia’s Rivers Casino in 2020, Philadelphia Councilmember David Oh, an Asian American, told WPVI TV, “Asian Americans, like other groups of Americans, are often seen as easy victims, so it’s good to be alert and careful.”