Argentine Casino Thief Loses Gamble After Trying to Hide in Bathroom

An alleged criminal in Argentina should have spent more time planning his weekend routine if he expected to avoid jail. Instead, after a string of robberies, including one at a local casino, he made the mistake of trying to hide in a restroom with no way out except through the police.

A police department in Concordia, Argentina
A police department in Concordia, Argentina. Police took a suspect to the station after he allegedly robbed a gaming venue in the city. (Image: Paralelo 32)

In the early hours on Sunday, a chase took place in Concordia that ended with the police apprehending the 18-year-old boy. He reportedly orchestrated a succession of thefts, with the attack at the casino his coup de grâce, according to local media outlet Diario Junio.

That final attack targeted the cashier’s cage at the casino where the suspect took ARS1 million (US$5,109) and made his escape before his ill-fated decision to duck into a nearby restaurant’s restroom. There was no information regarding the use of any type of weapon.

Cornered and Cooked

Casino staff had called the police following the attack, leading to the pursuit. The unnamed thief had ducked into a restaurant around the corner, giving him no way out and nowhere to stash the cash. It didn’t stop him from trying, though, as he attempted to throw the money out the window.

As a result, when officers removed him from the stall, they recovered the money he stole from the casino. In addition to the money, they found a fanny pack that contained more cash and a debit card from an area bank. The name on the card was that of a woman who had reported the robbery on Saturday.

Likewise, the inexperienced crook had in his possession a Motorola E20 cell phone matching the description of a phone another victim reported stolen on Saturday.

Unable to talk his way out of the crimes, police escorted the alleged thief to jail. After a brief period of separation anxiety, the victims were reunited with their stolen possessions. The casino got its money back, as well.

Could Have Been Worse

The accused thief should consider himself lucky the police caught him and not the local residents. They’re reportedly taking things into their own hands after an increase in robberies, no longer willing to wait for police intervention.

Last week, a group of residents surprised a thief when he was stealing tools from a workshop. Upon realizing the situation, and tired of the robberies, the neighbors attacked him physically. Police soon arrived to help diffuse the situation and arrested the 36-year-old subject. Local media outlets covered the incident, but didn’t describe the extent of any injuries he may have suffered.

The unidentified thief now faces charges and probably a few weeks of pain. The good news is that the owner of the tools was able to recover what had been stolen.

Concordia has been the scene of a rash of criminal activity, some orchestrated by organized crime. It’s reached the point where criminals are no longer afraid of the police, as demonstrated by the cold-blooded execution of a man last week.

That attack occurred just 164 feet from a local police station when two perpetrators shot a third man. The victim, Claudio Marcelo Martínez, later died at a hospital, and both suspects are now in custody.

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