‘Plastic Bag Bandit’ Caught After Spanish Casino Robbery

Posted on: November 9, 2022, 07:30h. 

Last updated on: November 9, 2022, 03:30h.

Police in Spain’s Gran Canaria tracked down an unusual criminal this week. The man previously robbed a casino in one of the country’s Canary Islands while wearing plastic bags as a disguise.

Spanish civil guard
Two agents of the Spanish civil guard conduct routine patrols. The police force has arrested a man in Gran Canaria who robbed a casino wearing plastic bags. (Image: Las Provincias)

Spain’s Civil Guard arrested a 37-year-old man who is accused of having robbed a casino in the city of Agüimes. He pulled off the heist with a knife, allegedly getting away with a stash of €6,250 (US$6,250). The robbery occurred on September 22, and it took a while for the police to unmask the man’s identity.

However, he left more than a few clues that helped the investigation. It didn’t take long for the police to piece together the puzzle. They pulled up the security footage from the day and began scouring it for clues when they hit the jackpot. The footage revealed that there was a possible candidate for the robbery.

The man, whose name hasn’t been released, entered the casino wearing plastic bags on his face, hands, and legs. Apparently — perhaps taking inspiration from CSI reruns — he thought this would help prevent any trace evidence from being left at the scene.

The Plastic Bag Bandit

The robber went directly to the cashier’s booth and threatened her with his knife. The unidentified employee complied with his demands, turning over the collection from the casino’s slot machines.

A man fitting the description of the plastic bag bandit was in the casino for almost the entire afternoon. In particular, he had spent the afternoon in the machine closest to the collection booth, monitoring the employee’s movements.

When the employee left the cage for unknown reasons, the man was alone in the small gaming room. He tried to enter the cage but finally gave up. Shortly after, he returned with his makeshift fashion getup and launched his attack.

He’s now in a jail cell, waiting to appear in court.

Unsmooth Criminals

Most criminal masterminds will recommend scoping out a target before launching an attack. In the case of a casino, it helps to do so from the outside. Inside, there are often too many cameras and too much experience dealing with would-be criminals.

The plastic bag bandit fell because he spent the day perched up on a stool hitting the slots. That gave the casino plenty of footage for the police to use in their investigation.

It’s not the first or the last time a would-be crook would display a certain lack of mental fortitude in an attempted casino heist. In 2007, two people robbed the Soboba Casino Resort in Riverside, Calif., getting away with $1.5 million.

The unsmooth criminals only enjoyed freedom for a couple of days. Police arrested both after casino workers identified them as internal employees.

There have been similar examples worldwide, from London to Malta and Macau. Still, more than a few people looking for get-rich-quick schemes routinely overlook the obvious flaws in their plans.