A group of delinquents figured they would have an easy mark when they targeted a gambling hall in Chile for robbery. They quickly learned that the perfect casino heists only happen in the movies, as they were forced to unload their bounty in an attempt to escape.
Police try to collect cash on a highway in Chile. The money landed there after thieves robbed a gambling hall and had to toss the cash to try to get away. (Image: Chile Police)
The police explained in a statement that the thieves launched their attack on a gambling hall in the city of Pudahuel around 7:45 p.m., hoping to get away with whatever cash the property took in that day. They threatened an employee with a firearm, forcing her to turn over the money, according to media outlet Cooperativa.
The violent assault in the capital province of Santiago came to an unexpected ending as the robbers tried to flee. They made it to their vehicle and started the journey, but didn’t get very far.
Pesos From Heaven
As soon as the police received word about the attack, they gave chase. They knew the thieves were driving a blue sedan, possibly a Toyota, and in which direction they were headed. It didn’t take long for them to catch up.
The criminals made their onto Chile’s North Coastal Highway, heading east as fast as possible without making their presence known. It didn’t work, however, as a patrol car spotted the vehicle and gave chase.
At this point, desperate to cause a distraction and get away, the thieves started throwing cash from the heist out of the vehicle. It didn’t work, as the police boxed them in and forced the car to a stop.
They arrested six people who were in the vehicle, all of whom were foreign nationals. Two were in the country illegally, but the police didn’t provide details on the country of origin for any of them.
Fortunately, there were no injuries at either the gambling hall or on the highway. However, the property lost around CLP10 million (US$10,110). The police recovered as much as they could, but some of the bills floated away to a few lucky bystanders.
Thieves Get Bolder
This attack was one of several that businesses in the area have been dealing with recently. However, there have also been similar attacks on gaming properties elsewhere in Chile this year. This has led to business owners demanding a stronger police presence.
It took an entire police operation this past July to try to stop a robbery at a gambling venue in the city of Osorno. Four subjects entered the parking area of the building where the casino is located and, after a minute, they made their escape.
The criminals smashed a glass window to exit, but surveillance footage caught something else. Although four entered, seven exited. That meant that three were already inside, waiting for their fellow thieves.
Despite the police response, the crooks got away. They took with them around CLP4 million (US$4,072).
Thefts are on the rise across the country, and the thieves are getting bolder. This past May, a driver of the escort group of the Chilean President, Gabriel Boric, was shot in Santiago by a group of people who stole his government vehicle.
The driver, a sergeant from the Carabineros police force, was returning to La Moneda Palace, the home of the President, to leave the car. On the way, three criminals approached and ordered him to a nearby town. There, they launched their attack. They shot him in the arm and took the vehicle.
On the same day, three armed individuals entered the home of Defense Minister Maya Fernández. Their targets were valuables and a car, according to the police.
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