casino surgical mask robbery

When you have a casino full of people wearing masks, one of them might get the bright idea to rob the joint. And that’s exactly what William Clark did: he allegedly robbed the New York – New York Casino in Las Vegas wearing a surgical mask.

Increased Crime Risk

While everybody is busy getting back to business in the casinos after months of lockdown, masks are required at most casinos. But there’s a dark side to ‘playing it safe’ when it comes to the coronavirus: one of those masked gamblers just might try to rob the casino.

Casinos maintain tight security using high-tech surveillance like the famous ‘eye in the sky’ and facial recognition technology. But when everyone’s wearing a mask, that poses a serious problem for security.

According to the Rev. Richard McGowan, a Boston College finance professor, “Patrons need to wear a mask, but it certainly opens the possibility for robberies,” McGowan said.

The Heist

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Las Vegas resident William Clark, 41, allegedly walked up to the New York – New York cage and handed the cashier a note which read “give me the money.” The teller pushed the note back saying she could not read it. That’s when the suspect reached into his pocket and told the cashier “Give me your money and no one gets shot.”

The teller gave the robber $4,700 and he fled the scene. But the robber made a critical mistake: he was actually staying in a Vegas hotel near the scene of the crime. After going through video surveillance footage, Las Vegas police were able to connect the crime to Clark, who was staying at the MGM Grand.

According to the arrest report, police stated, “During a search of the [suspect’s] hotel room I located the pants, t-shirt and surgical mask worn by Clark during the robbery.”

Clark was held at the Clark County Detention Center and was released on bail of $100,000. He now awaits trial for the crime, but this was not Clark’s first caper. His rap sheet dates back 2 decades.

According to Clark County District Court records, Clark has been convicted of several crimes, starting in 1998 with assault with a deadly weapon, possession of a controlled substance, and forgery. He has also been convicted of robbery, possession of a stolen vehicle, and discharging a firearm out of a vehicle.


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A Massachusetts native, blogger Angeline Everett grew up in the Allston neighborhood of Boston and earned a degree in casino management from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. After graduating, Angeline moved to Atlantic City where she joined the young team at the Borgata Casino as a compliance representative, while blogging on the side. After a few years in the back office, Angeline moved to the floor to work first at a casual poker dealer and later casual poker floor supervisor. Fascinated with games of chance since she was a child, Angeline currently divides her time between blogging and work on her first book.