Police Say Employee Staged Robberies at South Dakota Casino

Posted on: January 5, 2018, 03:00h. 

Last updated on: January 5, 2018, 10:30h.

When the Jackpot Casino Too in Rapid City, South Dakota was robbed twice in December, the initial thought was that it had just been an unlucky month for the house.

Staged casino robbery
Carlos Guerrero was arrested for staging two robberies at the Jackpot Casino Too, where he was an employee. (Image: Courtesy Photo, Rapid City Police Department)

But now police say that the robberies were actually an inside job that were staged by one of the casino’s employees.

Police have charged Carlos Guerrero with two counts of conspiracy to commit grand theft and one count of grand theft in connection with the two robberies. Guerrero had reported both incidents, which took place on the nights of December 7 and December 26.

In the first case, Guerrero said that one man had brandished a knife at him and demanded money, which he complied with.

On the night after Christmas, Guerrero told police that he had been in the back office when two men entered the casino, hit him in the back of the head, and left with about $10,000.

Investigation Reveals Holes in Story

However, the initial investigation into the crimes revealed some issues with Guerrero’s stories. According to a police report from the second robbery, Guerrero didn’t show any signs of being assaulted.

Then, while being interviewed by police at the casino, he balked when Senior Officer Marc Cote asked to see his cell phone, trying to rapidly type something before handing over the device. Guerrero claimed he was trying to remove a background picture of his wife that he didn’t want the officer to see.

Investigators’ suspicions were heightened after reviewing footage of the incident. According to Detective Trevor Tollman’s report, Guerrero was easily overpowered by two much smaller assailants, and only opened the safe after the robbers were already well inside the casino.

“Carlos opened the safe when the suspects are halfway there,” another police report stated. “The suspects walk into the office and move the chair Carlos was sitting in. Carlos did not react. One of the suspects pushed on Carlos’ shoulder and Carlos falls to the ground.”

Police then took a look at a van that Guerrero’s girlfriend had purchased the day after the robbery. Several $20 bills were found on the floor board, which police now believe came from the money that was taken from the casino.

Police theorize that the van was also purchased with stolen money.

Police Identify Two Other Suspects, One Remains Unidentified

As the evidence mounted, police then looked back at the December 7 robbery, and came to the conclusion that both incidents were staged by Guerrero. On Wednesday, Guerrero was arrested by police. He is currently in the Pennington County Jail on a $10,000 bond.

Police have also identified two juveniles who they believe are suspects in the second robbery, though they are still looking to identify the suspect in the first theft.

According to Captain John Olson, Commander of the Rapid City Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division, the arrest was the culmination of a quality investigation into what turned out to be a very different crime than police initially thought.

“Mr. Guerrero’s arrest comes as the result of many hours of diligent and professional police-work by many individuals throughout our agency,” Olson said. “Mr. Guerrero’s actions have taken away valuable investigative resources as we work to solve legitimate robberies which have victimized our community.”