The Oceans movies are some of my favorite films. Well, all the ones excluding whatever the hell Ocean's 8 was (oddly enough this just started on TNT). While they're entertaining and an easy watch, they also strike the fear of God into you when it comes to envisioning robbing a Las Vegas casino. Then there's 23 year old Erik Gutierrez.
A man in Las Vegas is accused of posing as a hotel and casino owner and convincing an employee to fork over more than $1million in payments she believed were going toward fire safety equipment.
An individual from the hotel's security office informed them that 'an unknown person' had contacted the casino cage - where money, casino chips, credit chips, and other paperwork are kept - and claimed to 'be the owner of the hotel.'The person then requested $320,000 for an emergency payment to the fire department.
The cage supervisor told police that the person said 'the fire department needed to do a check on the fire extinguishers' and 'they would need a payment for further safety devices.' The cage supervisor provided the money in four installments to the unknown individual at multiple off-site locations, according to police documents.
The payments respectively totaled $314,000, $350,000, and $500,000, in addition to three smaller deposits. The total loss of funds amounted to $1,170,000 from the hotel.
Hire a full team of experts from around the world who specialize in certain skills that you'll need for a perfectly coordinated mission? Steal the casino's blueprints and design an exact copy of the safe you're about rob? Pay off multiple employees on the inside for the right amount of help? Nah just pose as the 55 year old casino owner and ask for a shit ton of money while you pretend to check the building's fire equipment.
I'm wondering what went through this guy's mind during the whole process. Like there couldn't have been one moment where he actually believed they were just going to hand him over a million dollars, right? I'm assuming this because his after-robbery plan was non-existent.
Detectives then managed to track down the car involved in the suspected scammer theft. Police believe the car belonged to Gutierrez's aunt, with whom he resides. Law enforcement also surveilled the aunt's home, during which time they saw a different car arrive and then leave with Gutierrez and another man inside. No money was found when searching that vehicle, police said.
When police searched the home, they found ID belonging to Gutierrez, and as well as a 'large bag of U.S. currency bundled together with the name Circa written on the bundle.'
Gutierrez was arrested on Sunday June 18 - one day after cops had been called to Circa - at a gym. Another man in the car with Gutierrez prior to his arrest was not detained.
"Hey Aunt Judy just gonna borrow the car real quick, be right back, need anything from the store?"
*Proceeds to rob a casino for over a million dollars in cash and just comes home to drop it off. This mastermind left the money in the house in the casino-labeled bag???? Incredible. You can tell they really sent their best guys after him once they were thwarted. Not easy to track down a regular Danny Ocean like this fella. The next day he was arrested the local gym just trying to get a pump in after pulling off the heist. Gotta let all that adrenaline out, I get it.
It honestly seems like he believed he could steal a million bucks in broad daylight and then they'd just let him chill. I guess if you successfully pose as the casino owner in the first place then you also think they won't care to come after you. Maybe he planned on going later that day for a second withdrawal.
At least it seems he gave a little thought as to where to stash some of the haul.
Police later recovered close to $850,00 - though the location of the remaining $314,000 remains a mystery.
I say just let him keep it. Just like in 'The Social Network' when Jesse Eisenberg asks the Harvard people for a thank you after he hacked their network, it seems clear here that Erik exposed a major flaw in their security protocols. The next time a 23 year old poses as the 55 year old casino owner asking for a million dollars I bet they'll be more on top of it thanks to him.