Authorities from Black Hawk, CO, were called to Monarch Casino Resort and Spa on March 12 after a reported theft of $500,000 in cash. Police arrested cashier Sabrina Eddy, 44, on suspicion of theft from the casino that’s 38 miles west of Denver.
Monarch Casino spokeswoman Erica Ferris did not confirm many details.
“While we can confirm that the theft occurred, this is currently an active and open investigation and Monarch is making no comment.”
To date, this is the largest theft at a Colorado casino since gambling became legal in the state in 1991.
Cashier says her bosses told her to take the $500,000
There are more than 40 commercial casinos in Colorado. They are all in the mountain towns of Black Hawk, Cripple Creek, and Central City. Online casinos in Colorado are limited to social and sweepstakes casinos such as Sweeptastic, as real-money online casinos are still prohibited in the state.
Eddy’s job at Monarch was handling casino money in the cage as a cashier. A Gilpin County District Court affidavit details the possible chain of events involving the theft.
Just after midnight on March 12, Eddy allegedly received messages by phone and text. The senders claimed to be bosses at the casino, and they instructed her to remove money from the cage. The excuse they allegedly gave Eddy was it was needed to pay a lawyer on behalf of the casino, according to the affidavit.
Eddy allegedly came back for more money
Camera footage revealed images of Eddy loading bundles of cash worth $50,000 each into a box. Eddy then put the money into a gold minivan. Eddy left the casino but then returned to remove more money from the vault.
The affidavit said Eddy was told to drive the money to St. Anthony’s Hospital in Denver and to hand it to a man waiting near the emergency room. Eddy later called the casino and reported that she had taken money out of the vault. She also said the police would probably arrest her.
Maintaining her innocence, Eddy said she was simply following orders from management at the casino, and she did nothing wrong.
In an official statement, the Colorado Division of Gaming said it is looking into the incident.
“The Division of Gaming is currently conducting active administrative and criminal investigations into a recent theft at the Monarch Casino, and the Division of Gaming is unable to make any statements or provide any records related to its investigation during the active investigation process.”
Theft is the largest in Colorado casino history
This theft of $500,000 is the largest at a Colorado casino. Some other thefts from Colorado casinos include:
- 2003: $300,000 stolen from JP McGills; state regulators thought it was a casino security guard in Cripple Creek.
- 2010: $28,000 stolen at gunpoint from Famous Bonanza. The robber got 224 years.
- 1993: $8,000 stolen from the Gold Rush Casino and Hotel in Cripple Creek
Colorado Department of Revenue spokeswoman Suzanne Karrer confirmed the theft as the largest in state casino history.
“This latest case is the largest theft we can find, but small thefts occur regularly, and fraudulent acts are the crime we respond to the most, getting several every week.”