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Tampa casino win leads to hotel robbery, Florida cops seek warrant

Posted on: August 14, 2022, 12:42 p.m.

Last update on: August 14, 2022, 01:12h.

A man who won around $53,000 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa was sent back to his hotel in Florida earlier this summer. A thief stole at least $10,000 of the loot. He then fled in an expensive red sports car, a recent warrant application revealed.

Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa, pictured above. A casino winner was followed from the venue and robbed from his hotel room. (Photo: TripAdvisor)

The victim was first tracked to the Seminole Hard Rock after cashing in his winnings on June 14. He showed his money in cellphone photos, then went to get a taxi.

The robbers drove into their Alfa Romeo to follow the winner as he was driven back to the Barrymore Hotel Tampa Riverwalk. About 20 minutes later, he got out of the taxi.

He carried the money in a paper bag. He entered the hotel and headed for the elevators. One of the suspects followed him inside.

The bandit grabbed the paper bag and started running towards the Alfa Romeo waiting for him. But the player ran after the thief. He was able to tackle the bandit outside the hotel.

The two started to fight. Suddenly the Alfa Romeo was driven towards the entrance. Another suspect rushed out of the car and pulled the victim off the first suspect. The two suspects were able to flee.

The suspects were able to steal at least $10,000 of the winnings left outside, the Tampa Bay Weather reported.

The victim returned to the hotel. The police have been notified.

Officers continued to investigate the crime this summer. No arrests have been made so far in this case, the Time reported last week.

Two of the three suspects are known to police, the report adds. The newspaper did not publish their identities.

The casino is owned and operated by the Seminole Tribe of Florida. With approximately 245,000 square feet of gaming space featuring 5,000 slot machines and 200 table games, Seminole Hard Rock Tampa is one of the largest casinos in the United States.

Previous flights

Two other recent casino-related robberies both ended in fatal shootings. In January, a Baltimore man was shot dead in his home.

He had just returned from a winning day at the Horseshoe Casino Baltimore. The attacker followed the great-grandfather from the playroom to rob him.

Clarence Joseph Buckner, 65, struggled unsuccessfully with the bandit. He was a recently retired cook for the Baltimore public school cafeterias.

Earlier in October, a 27-year-old Pennsylvania man was facing extradition to New Jersey to face a murder charge after he followed the victim from a casino to his home, about 80 miles away.

Jekai Reid-John of Norristown reportedly followed the man from Pennsylvania’s Parx Casino to Plainsboro, NJ where he was shot and later died.

Reid-John injured Sree Aravapalli, 54, during the robbery, police say. It is unclear how much, if any, of the approximately $10,000 won at the casino was stolen from Aravapalli.

Just hours before the shooting, Reid-John reportedly watched Aravapalli leave the Bensalem, Pennsylvania gambling property with the night’s winnings. Reid-John followed Aravapalli until the victim finally stopped at his house.

Tampa jackpot

In an unrelated article, a player at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino Tampa in Clearwater, Florida won a $1.24 million jackpot in December.

Just by throwing out her first name, Gloria, she won $1,241,642.26 on a $50 bet on a progressive slot machine. It’s a Dragon Link insert. The game is manufactured by Aristocrat Gaming.