A 27 year old aspiring poker player was recently convicted of following fellow poker players home after trips to Los Angeles-area casinos and robbing them, or attempting to rob them. According to the LA Times, Dominick Blair Roberson was convicted of 4 counts of second-degree robbery and one count of attempted second-degree robbery.
In one of Roberson’s many criminal acts, he secretly followed a near 60 year old woman to her home after she left Hollywood Park Casino. Shortly before she entered her house, Roberson appeared, assaulted her, then made off with $6,000 in cash.
In a separate incident, he held up a 50-year old woman at gunpoint and took the $1,000 in cash that she had on her. In the end, it turned out that the firearm was, indeed, fake, but that does not do anything to take away from the trauma of his victim. In two other documented robberies, Roberson—whose name is quite fitting—made away with $2,000 and $3,100 respectively.
After investigators did their fair share of digging, it was discovered that Roberson, each and every time, used his illicit funds to gamble, specifically at the poker tables of Gardens Casino.
In the end, Roberson was caught and an LA county judge sentenced him to 8 years for his crimes. Though, to some, 8 years may seem like a lot of time for crimes that netted Roberson less than $15,000, it was who he robbed and how he did it that really struck a chord with the judge and prosecutors. Roberson intentionally targeted some of the most vulnerable casino patrons and went through a lot of work to carefully follow them home and ultimately rob them of what were, more than likely, casino winnings. For the victims, justice is bitter-sweet. The reason for this being that, if they were robbed of casinos winnings, they will likely never see any of that money again.
Being robbed of cash from a casino is a bit different than credit card fraud because it cannot be traced. If you win $6,000 and are robbed in the parking lot, not only is the casino not responsible for reimbursing you, the money will be gone as soon as it is spent by the criminal; which it almost always is.
This story does well to raise a point that not many people think about when playing at casinos in California or anywhere else in the world. There are always going to be people watching, and if you make yourself a target by showing off your winnings, things like this can happen. Though being robbed is hardly considered a typical outcome for big casino winners, it does happen. If you ever find yourself where you are walking out of a casino with a large sum of money, do everything in your power to conceal those winnings. If possible, ask a casino attendant to walk you to your car. This is a terrible story of violence and greed, but hopefully it helps prevent future situations like this from taking place by way of the lessons it teaches.