Yet another master criminal robbed a casino table game in the middle of the night. This time the police state that Edward Land, Hiroyuki Yamaguchi (also referred to as Yamagutchi in the report) and Steven Gao are the people associated with the latest casino robbery, this time occurring at the Rio on February 24th at 4:33am. The Rio is just across I-15 from the Bellagio, the scene of a similar robbery in December. That arrest summary can be found here.
According to the Las Vegas Metro Police Steven Gao took a cab to the Rio and walked in wearing a fedora, fake mustache and wig. He went to a Paigow table with a gun. He then reached across to the dealer’s chip tray. When the dealer tried to stop him from stealing the chips Gao allegedly pointed a gun at the dealer who backed off. The robber made off with $33,200 in chips. The suspect then ran out the valet exit and back into a cab, Lucky Cab #2848.
Lucky Cab tried to contact the driver but he did not answer. They then located the cab at Terrible’s casino at the corner of Paradise and Flamingo. Yamaguchi was the cab driver and he was in the cab when police arrived. He stated the day before a passenger requested his cell phone number. He stated the passenger asked to be picked up at 4:30am from Rio. Yamaguchi stated the passenger was picked up at 4:15am and he took the passenger to Terrible’s and had not seen him since.
The cab has video and audio surveillance from the dashboard and passenger area. Yamaguchi arrived at Rio alone but placed black tape over the passenger camera. The dashboard camera and passenger audio were still running.
The dashboard video shows the suspect entering the cab. While the cab is leaving the suspect is angry that he dropped a $10,000 chip. The suspect then asks the driver to hide the gun. The unloaded gun was found under the passenger seat.
The suspect used a payphone at Terrible’s. He called Edward Land. Surveillance at Terrible’s showed Gao dumped something in a trash can outside, it turned out to be the sunglasses used in the suspect’s disguise. Gao also had a shoulder bag. He handed this bag to another suspect assumed to be Land. Both men left through separate doors.
Yamaguchi was taken in for a second interview. He admitted he lied and he knew the man he picked up at Rio as Gao, a coworker at Lucky’s Cab. He stated several facts already known by detectives and stated he was paid $1000 in Rio chips for his trouble. The $1000 in chips and the gun were recovered.
Detectives set up surveillance at 4990 s Rainbow where Land is employed. When Land’s Land Rover was spotted he was pulled over on Ft Apache. Land stated he met Gao the night before at Gold Coast and later ate at The Palms. Land dropped Gao off at Rio in his disguise. Land was owed $15,000 by Gao. Police discovered $17,000 in chips as well as a wig and the black shoulder bag. Land told police that Gao had taken a bus back to California. He is still at large.
The five page arrest report can be downloaded here from the Las Vegas Sun.