Theft comes in many different forms and sizes. At Pennsylvania casinos, typical types of theft include cheating at games by pinching or past posting bets and swiping things like cash, chips or cell phones. Unfortunately, these crimes will sometimes total a large amount, like the nearly $10,000 lifted from Live! Casino Pittsburgh last month.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) shines a light on numerous instances of petty theft at their monthly meetings. But, some recent cases of PA casino theft weren’t so petty.
Arrest warrant issued for Live! Casino Pittsburgh thief
Surveillance cameras cover just about every square inch of every casino, so it’s a wonder why people still think they can get away with stealing at these establishments.
Case in point: a visitor at Live! Casino Pittsburgh now faces an arrest warrant after stealing $9,500 last month.
State police responded to a call from the casino on April 17. When they arrived, a patron explained that he set down the money at a game counter and walked away. Upon his return, the money was missing.
Police observed the culprit on security footage taking the money and leaving the casino. They later identified the man and issued an arrest warrant. Police didn’t release the name of the suspect.
Hollywood Casino York suspect not yet identified
A suspected casino thief in York County made his escape on a gold bicycle, according to police.
Authorities responded to a call from Hollywood Casino York on Sunday, April 9, where a patron told them his wallet had been stolen from his jacket. The wallet contained $1,000 cash and $250 in gift cards, according to the victim.
Police watched security footage to determine an older white male was the suspect. The man was reportedly seen fleeing on the bike.
According to the original reporting on the incident, the man was not identified.
Finders keepers does not apply at Pennsylvania casinos
Finding a voucher that has a remaining cash value might seem like a lucky break, but it’s a crime to cash it out for yourself.
Police in Luzerne County are looking for a man who did just that. On April 1, a Mohegan Pennsylvania patron removed a voucher worth $445 from a slot machine, cashed it out and left the casino. Not surprisingly, he was caught on camera, as well.
PA Crime Stoppers were still trying to identify the suspect as of April 13.
Protect yourself from theft at PA casinos
PA casinos are generally safe places. But, they also attract people who are hoping for an easy payday. To protect yourself from falling victim to one of these crimes of opportunity, there are some simple steps you can take.
- Limit your alcohol consumption. Drinking alcohol can make you forgetful and careless. A drunk person is an easy target, as they are likely not paying close attention to their belongings.
- Use the buddy system. It may sound silly, but it’s a tried and true system. Stick with your group, and watch out for each other’s stuff. If your partner leaves a slot machine, ask if they removed their voucher.
- Use cashless payment options. Some casinos employ a mobile app that lets you pay, cash out and earn rewards points, without having to bring cash into the casino at all.
- If you lose or misplace anything, notify security immediately. They can be on the lookout and review surveillance footage to locate your stuff.
The PGCB offers a similar message to these helpful tips. Doug Harbach, Director of Communications for the PGCB, provided comment to PAOnlineCasino:
“The overlying message from us is to make a conscious effort to take your personal property, vouchers or currency with you when you walk away from a machine or a table game. It is the same mindset as travelers in airports who are continually reminded not to leave their personal items behind when they leave the waiting areas. In the case of casinos, you should not only take any slot voucher with you, but check that the voucher has the funds you expect it to have on it before you walk away.”
Lead image: Shutterstock.com