New York-New York Heist ‘Blackface’ Serial Armed Robber Pleads Guilty in Las Vegas

Posted on: October 5, 2018, 10:30h. 

Last updated on: October 5, 2018, 10:42h.

A white man who disguised himself with blackface makeup to rob the cashier cage at New York-New York pleaded guilty in a Las Vegas courtroom Wednesday to one count of interference with commerce by robbery.

New York-New York
Master of disguise: Cameron Kennedy went to great lengths to disguise his appearance, but was identified by his distinctive gold mouth grill. The cashier said she did not believe he was African-American anyway, because his skin color was “off.” (Image: LVMPD)

26-year-old Cameron James Kennedy was under court-ordered home confinement in Las Vegas because of previous bank robbery charges when he slipped out of his GPS monitoring bracelet on January 9th.

Three hours later, he showed up at New York-New York, his face covered in dark make-up that was aimed at disguising his true ethnicity. According to prosecutors, Kennedy showed the cashier a handgun tucked in his waistband and demanded money.

I want all your hundreds, and don’t mess around,” he told the cashier, before leaving the casino in a taxi with over $23,000.

Skin ‘Off’ and ‘Blotchy’

Las Vegas police said Kennedy used the makeup in an attempt to appear African-American, although the cashier said in her statement she didn’t buy it, because his skin color was “off” and “blotchy,” according to court filings.

Kennedy used the money to buy a gold bracelet for $1,500 and took out a prepaid credit card in someone else’s name.

Security footage of the crime — with a close-up of Kennedy’s makeup darkened face — was widely circulated by police and media. Despite going to great lengths to disguise his appearance, he was identified by a distinctive gold mouth grill he wore over his teeth.

Straight Out of Prison

Police received an anonymous tip-off on January 18th about Kennedy, and later found phone records that placed him close to where the robber had been dropped off from the taxi on the morning of the robbery.

A separate witness said Kennedy had arrived at an apartment in the early hours of that morning wearing black clothing and noticed his face appeared darker than usual, as though he had wiped something off his skin. He was arrested on January 25th.

Kennedy served a little more than a five-year sentence for robbing two banks with a BB gun that had been painted to look like a real gun in 2012. During the course of one of those robberies, he threatened to kill a bank teller.

He was released from prison in June 2017, but arrested again in December after passing a bad check at the Gold Coast casino and placed under federal supervision.

Kennedy will face up to 20 years in prison and a maximum $250,000 fine when he is sentenced on December 13th.