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Robbing a casino never works…except when it does


If you’re thinking of robbing a casino, I’ve got some bad news. The odds are against you. Even the casino heists in movies sometimes end up going awry. But, what about Bob? Bob Montagnet, that is, Nick Nolte’s over-the-hill thief whose got his eyes on a French casino in THE GOOD THIEF, airing on Saturday at 8P, and throughout the month, on Sundance Channel.

Bob is, basically, a burnout who just knows he’s got one last heist in him. I know, you’ve heard that one before, but THE GOOD THIEF is based on French New Wave precursor BOB LE FLAMBEUR, which pretty much established the “one last heist” genre. In honor of both Bobs, let’s take a look at a few rare, real life cases of casino bandits who really did make off with the loot are still living off the riches of their one last heist.

Circus Circus, Las Vegas — $2.95 million
Most real life casino thieves who do get away don’t make off with Hollywood style payouts in the millions, but Roberto Solis did. In 1993, Solis and his girlfriend (a Loomis armored truck driver) made off with almost $3 million in her work vehicle. Solis is still at large, but (now ex-) girlfriend Heather Tallchief turned herself in after 12 years on the lam.

The Ritz, London — $2 million
Lasers hidden in mobile phones are not just for James Bond. A group of Eastern European criminals succeeded in a high-tech roulette sting at one of the world’s ritziest gambling addresses. The bandits’ gadgets measured the speed of the ball at two point to calculate its decaying orbit. A program on the phone then calculated where the ball would land before it was too late to place a bet. While the “thieves” were caught, a judge ruled that they didn’t actually break any laws. They got to keep the cash.

The Hilton Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas — $570,000
Two armed robbers busted into the Hilton’s Sports Book and made off with more than half a million dollars back in 2008. The heist could’ve been straight out of a–very short–movie. They were in and out in 30 seconds and have not been heard from since. If you see either of these motorcycle helmets, please contact the LVPD.

Stardust, Las Vegas — $500,000
Bill Brennan was just your average Vegas casino cashier…until he left work one day with $500,000 and disappeared. Word on the street is that he was later killed by an accomplice, but since no body has ever been found he could just be chilling out on a beach somewhere.

Grand Casino, Basel — Unknown
A gang of masked gunmen (or is it a gaggle of gunmen?) stormed the Grand Casino in 2010 and forced all 600 gamblers to lie down on the floor while they raided the registers. The casino is keeping mum about how much they got away with, but they didn’t manage to bust into the strong room where most of the cash was kept. And it wasn’t for a lack of trying; they shot the craps out of it with machine guns.

Watch THE GOOD THIEF as part of REDFORD PRESENTS. Every Saturday at 8P our boss, Mr. Robert Redford, brings you an insightful introduction into a diverse array of thought provoking films.