Fri. Apr 19th, 2024

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A trial for a Las Vegas police officer accused of stealing almost $165,000 in a collection of on line casino heists is about to start Monday with prosecutors portray him as a playing addict who grew more and more determined below a crush of debt.

Prosecutors declare Caleb Rogers, 35, carried out three robberies over a span of 4 months whereas armed with a weapon issued by the police division.

Rogers’ lawyer, Richard Pocker, stated the federal government’s proof allegedly tying Rogers to 2 of the robberies is weak. He accused the FBI and Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Division detectives of pressuring two individuals, together with Rogers’ brother, into figuring out him because the suspect within the robberies to shut out the circumstances.

Rogers made off with greater than $85,000 within the first two robberies between November 2021 and January 2022 at casinos off the Las Vegas Strip whereas his police colleagues spent months making an attempt to catch the thief, investigators and prosecutors stated.

Rogers almost bagged a further $79,000 in a 3rd theft on the Rio All-Suite Lodge & On line casino in February 2022, however safety guards detained him exterior following a quick battle, authorities stated.

The robber’s method was primarily the identical in all three crimes, authorities stated. He wore a face masks, darkish clothes and black latex gloves. After cashiers handed over the cash, he positioned the money inside a bag beneath his jacket. Then the suspect with the “distinctive gait” ran again to his automobile, limping “due to an issue together with his leg,” based on a legal criticism.

Mehmet Erdem, a professor on the College of Nevada, Las Vegas, whose experience consists of lodge and on line casino operations, stated on line casino heists are onerous to efficiently pull off.

“The possibilities you get caught and are recognized could be very excessive,” he stated, due to a mix of strong on line casino safety groups with uniformed guards and plainclothes officers and developments in safety know-how together with facial recognition software program and high-definition cameras.

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Rogers was a seven-year police veteran employed by the Las Vegas metro police as an active-duty patrol officer on the time of the robberies. He stays employed however is on unpaid depart “with out police powers” pending the end result of the legal case, a division spokesperson stated.

These testifying will embody on line casino cashiers, safety guards and Josiah Rogers, who recognized his brother on video captured by on line casino safety cameras in the course of the first two robberies, prosecutors stated final week, noting that Josiah Rogers will likely be granted immunity from authorized motion.

Caleb Rogers, who was denied bail and has been in custody on 4 prices since his arrest, used his brother’s automotive in one of many robberies and instructed him to eliminate it shortly thereafter, based on courtroom paperwork.

Within the third alleged theft, Rogers parked an unregistered minivan exterior the on line casino and entered simply earlier than 7 a.m., whereas staff on the on line casino’s sportsbook ready to open. He wore physique armor beneath his clothes and was armed with a department-issued revolver with a yellow sticker protecting its serial quantity, based on a legal criticism.

He climbed over-the-counter, shoved one in every of two cashiers who was loading money into registers from a plastic bag containing $119,000 and yelled that he had a gun. As he shoveled cash right into a bag hidden inside his jacket, unfastened payments floated onto the on line casino ground, based on the criticism.

A gaggle of safety guards caught as much as the suspect simply after he made it previous the on line casino’s exit. He drew his weapon and requested the guards in the event that they had been “keen to be shot over this” earlier than one in every of them grabbed the gun, the criticism stated.

When law enforcement officials arrived, Rogers allegedly introduced his division personnel quantity, which authorities stated is “a means law enforcement officials generally determine themselves to at least one one other.”

A detective later requested Rogers if something may have been completed to forestall the robberies, the criticism stated.

“Nothing,” Rogers stated.

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