Tampa Casino Win Leads to Hotel Robbery, Florida Cops Apply for Warrant

Posted on: August 14, 2022, 12:42h. 

Last updated on: August 14, 2022, 04:31h.

A man who won about $53,000 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa was tailed back to his Florida hotel earlier this summer. A robber stole at least $10,000 of the loot. He then fled in a pricy red sports car, a recent warrant application revealed.

Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa, pictured above. A casino winner was tailed from the venue and robbed at his hotel room. (Image: TripAdvisor)

The victim cashing out his winnings at the Seminole Hard Rock on June 14. He then left the casino to search for a taxi. But the robbers followed the winners in an Alfa Romeo as he was driven back to the Barrymore Hotel Tampa Riverwalk.

About 20 minutes later, the victim exited the cab and entered the Barrymore. He carried the money in a paper bag, One of the suspects followed him inside. Once inside, the bandit grabbed the paper bag and began to run toward the awaiting Alfa Romeo. But the gambler ran after the robber. He was able to tackle the bandit outside of the hotel.

The two started to wrestle. Suddenly, another suspect drove the Alfa Romeo to the entrance, darted out of the car and pulled the victim off the first suspect. Both suspects were able to flee. The suspects were able to steal at least $10,000 of the winnings left outside, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

The victim went back into the hotel. Police were notified.

Investigation Ongoing

Officers continued to investigate the crime this summer. No arrests have been made so far in the case, the Times reported last week. Two of the three suspects are known by police, the report added. The newspaper did not publish their identities.

The casino is owned and operated by the Seminole Tribe of Florida. With approximately 245,000 square feet of gaming space featuring 5,000 slot machines and 200 table games, Seminole Hard Rock Tampa is one of the largest casinos in the US.

Prior Robberies

Two other recent robberies linked to casinos both ended in fatal shootings. In January, a Baltimore man was shot dead in his house. He had just returned from a winning day at Horseshoe Casino Baltimore.

The assailant followed the great grandfather from the gaming venue to rob him. Clarence Joseph Buckner, 65, unsuccessfully struggled with the bandit. He was a recently retired cook for the cafeterias in the Baltimore public schools.

In October, a 27-year-old Pennsylvania man faced extradition to New Jersey to face a murder charge after following the victim from a casino to his home, some 50 miles away. Jekai Reid-John of Norristown allegedly tailed the man from Pennsylvania’s Parx Casino to Plainsboro, N.J., where he was shot and later died.

Reid-John wounded Sree Aravapalli, 54, during the robbery, according to police. It is unclear how much of the approximately $10,000 won at the casino was stolen from Aravapalli.

Just hours before the shooting, Reid-John allegedly watched Aravapalli leave the Bensalem, Pa. gaming property with the night’s winnings. Reid-John followed Aravapalli until the victim eventually stopped at his house.