Police in Las Vegas are seeking four people suspected of stealing cash boxes from slot machines in Southern Nevada.
The suspects have struck at “several” casinos and bars in the Las Vegas Valley, police said.
In pulling off the theft, one suspect sits at a slot machine and “picks” or “manipulates” the machine’s locked door. When the door opens, the person removes the cash box and leaves the casino or bar, police said.
Authorities did not specify which casinos and bars had been hit. There was no indication of how many boxes the suspects made off with or how much money was stolen. The crime alert came from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s Northeast Area Command. The combined city-county police department is known locally as Metro.
Police said two men and two women are involved in stealing the cash boxes. Their vehicles are a Nissan Armada SUV and a white Chrysler 300 with low-profile tires and large rims, according a Metro news release.
Crackdown on Crime
Also in the last few days, Metro released the results of its three-month crackdown on violent crime in the tourist areas.
Metro arrested 1,229 people on the Strip during Friday and Saturday nights from Sept. 18 to Dec. 20, according to Capt. Dori Koren. The department referred to this effort as Operation Persistent Pressure. Metro also confiscated 64 guns during this period.
Felonies and gross misdemeanors accounted for 36 percent of arrests during the crackdown. The criminal charges included assault, robbery, and illegal shooting, police said.
Beginning in the late summer and fall, several people were hospitalized in shootings and beatings on the Strip and nearby tourists areas. Many of the incidents took place on weekends. Sheriff Joe Lombardo called late Friday and Saturday nights “The bewitching hours.”
This violent surge occurred after Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) allowed casinos to reopen June 4. At the onset of the coronavirus in March, the governor ordered casinos to close.
At the time, Koren told county officials that out-of-state gangs and visitors were responsible for much of the violence.
This month, Koren said the spike in crime along the resort corridor has been resolved “to some extent,” according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal
“Violent crime on and around the Las Vegas Strip began to rise significantly in September,” Koren said. “The primary driver for this activity was related to a sharp rise in firearm-related incidents and aggravated assaults.”
Gambling-machine theft also was in the news late late year in Texas.
Two men posing as state gaming regulators stole gambling machines known as eight-liners from a Houston-area service station.
Displaying a fake seizure order and badges, the men loaded the machines on a pickup and drove away. Each machine is valued at $2,500. This figure does not include the money inside the machines.
Texas law requires gambling machine payoffs to be in prizes, not cash.