Not Quite Ocean’s Eleven

29 November 2017

As so often in life, reality doesn’t quite live up to the movies! This point was underlined on Tuesday afternoon in Las Vegas, when a masked gunman held up the poker cage at the famous Bellagio casino!

Unlike the 2001 movie Ocean’s Eleven, starring George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts, in which ‘Danny Ocean’ attempts to pull off the biggest heist in history, in an audacious, but painstakingly panned operation targeting the Bellagio, the Mirage and the MGM Grand – Tuesday’s heist was a little more, well, ‘basic.’

At approximately 3.45pm, the ‘criminal mastermind’ pulled up in the Bellagio valet, in a silver Chevrolet Cruze (hardly a Hollywood-worthy getaway car), with a hostage in the passenger seat. Keeping things ‘old school’ by wearing mask made from a bandage, a wig held in place by a beanie hat, and glasses, the robber pulled a gun on casino staff in the poker cage.

With impressive professionalism, the casino staff handed over cash with minimum fuss – to the point that most guests weren’t even aware a crime was taking place – and casino security let the assailant leave without tackling him, in order to guarantee the safety of casino customers.

Things started to unravel pretty quickly for the masked crook though, as by the time he’d got back to his Chevy, the hostage had fled, and casino security had collected so much CCTV video of both himself and his getaway car, that Las Vegas Metro Police captain John Pelletier is ‘comfortable and confident’ that they have enough information to apprehend the suspect.

But, this being Vegas, the afternoon wasn’t entirely without a touch of glamour, because non-other than legendary Hollywood actor James Woods (Once Upon a Time in America, Casino, The Virgin Suicides, Videodrome) witnessed the whole event at close quarters, and was promptly tweeting about it!

Don’t hold your breath for a movie about this heist!

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