Armored truck heist nets $36,000

The suspects who robbed an armored car guard Monday in the Palace Station parking lot netted a lot less than the $1 million originally reported.

The money bags taken by an armed man, who was accompanied by one or two other male suspects, contained about $36,000, a Station Casinos official said.

Las Vegas police initially gave the $1 million estimate because that is the amount the guards signed for at the time of their pickup, said Station spokeswoman Lori Nelson. Except for $36,000 in printed money, the four bags taken shortly after 9 a.m. by the robbers held receipts for checks that had been cashed.

“It’s quite a bit less than that ($1 million),” Nelson said.

It’s not clear whether the suspects knew how much the bags contained before the robbery, police said.

Las Vegas police Lt. Clint Nichols said an employee of the armored car service, Garda, was leaving the casino when he was confronted by a suspect with a semiautomatic shotgun who ordered him to “drop the bags.”

The guard complied. The suspect took the bags and fled in a gold, compact, four-door vehicle with one or two additional suspects, Nichols said.

The guard told police he heard a gunshot as the suspects fled, but police found no evidence that shots were fired. No one was injured, police said.

The guard was armed but did not draw his weapon.

“They (the suspects) already got the drop on him,” Nichols said.

The suspect with the shotgun was described as a white male. Police did get possible license plate information for the suspects’ car, but no arrests had been made as of Monday evening.

Surveillance tapes of the incident are being obtained, said Nichols, who called the suspects “pretty brazen.”

“It was in broad daylight in a casino parking lot,” he said, noting that casino surveillance is extremely detailed.

Nichols said security at the property on Sahara Avenue, near Rancho Drive, was distracted at the time of the robbery by a vehicle fire in the casino parking garage. That may have been a factor in how the suspects got away without being confronted.

It’s not clear if the fire and the robbery are related, but the possible link is being investigated, he said.

Monday’s armored vehicle robbery was the first Nichols could recall in Las Vegas for at least two years.

In the last incident, which involved money taken from a northwest Las Vegas bar, the suspects were arrested on the same day as the robbery.

“You definitely don’t see a lot of these,” he said.

Contact reporter Mike Blasky at or 702-383-0283.