For months, authorities in Las Vegas were on the hunt for a masked man with a limp who had pulled off a string of armed robberies at casinos along the city’s famed strip. Turns out they didn’t have to look very far.
Caleb Mitchell Rogers, a cop with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has been indicted for stickups at three casinos, where he allegedly used his own service revolver to walk off with $164,000.
Rogers, 33, was busted early in the morning on Feb. 27, after security guards at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino tackled him in the parking lot and wrestled his department-issued .357 Ruger SP101 handgun away, prosecutors said.
“Are you willing to be shot for this?” Rogers allegedly yelled to the guards as he waved this gun at them, according to prosecutors. “I will shoot you!”
“ “This isn’t your money. It isn’t worth losing your life over it.” ”
— Caleb Rogers allegedly said to casino employees during one robbery, according to prosecutors.
After responding metro police officers arrived at the scene, Rogers identified himself to them as “Rogers P No. 15666,” using his police ID. Officers recovered a bag inside his coat containing just under $79,000 taken from the cash drawers of the casino’s sportsbook area, court documents said. The serial number on his handgun had been covered over with a yellow sticker, but the system showed it was a department-issued weapon.
Rogers was suspended without pay, the department said in a statement. He had been with the department since 2015. His attorney, a federal public defender, didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment. Roger is being held without bail.
The arrest solved the mystery of who was behind two similar robberies at two other nearby casinos dating back to November last year. In each case, the culprit wore a mask, black latex gloves and walked with a noticeable limp, favoring his left leg.
In both robberies — the first at the Red Rock Casino and the next at the Aliante Hotel Casino and Spa — the culprit approached the cashier’s cage with his hand held inside his coat and demanded cash. Fearing for their safety, the cashiers handed over the money in stacks of hundreds and twenties, prosecutors said.
From the Red Rock, Rogers stole $73,810 and from the Aliante, $11,500, according to court documents.
The February robbery was the most outlandish, prosecutors said. In that case, a gunman entered the Rio around 7 a.m. and went straight for the sportsbook area which was preparing for a big day of gambling. There, he encountered two female cashiers loading cash into drawers ahead of opening an hour later, prosecutors said.
“Get away from the money! I’ve got a gun. I will shoot you.” prosecutors quoted him as saying. He then hopped over the counter and threw one of the cashiers — a 60-year-old woman — to the ground.
“This isn’t your money. It isn’t worth losing your life over it,” he said as he stuffed piles of cash into his bag. Prosecutors say the woman on the floor managed to trigger a hidden alarm, forcing Rogers to flee. That’s when security caught up with him in the parking lot.
Evidence of financial straights
A search of Rogers’ home revealed evidence of serious financial problems, with numerous letters from creditors and ones threatening eviction. Court records show that Rogers is in the process of getting a divorce and has faced civil suits from creditors seeking repayment.
Investigators also found evidence showing that Rogers had undergone surgery on his knee in recent years, perhaps explaining the limp, court documents said.
Rogers faces up to 20 years for each of the robberies plus life in prison for brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence.