By Miriam Raftery
October 18, 2011 (Santa Ysabel) - When someone leaves a casino carrying a large sum of cash, it's typically a jackpot winner. But early Monday morning, a thief pulled off a heist at the Santa Ysabel Casino, stealing a large amount of money from a secure location.
“For San Diego County, it’s a significant loss. I don’t think we’ve had a loss this large at any other casino,” San Diego Sheriff’s Sergeant Thomas Evans told ECM. Federal and state law enforcement agencies have also been called in on the case.
Evans estimates the money disappeared somewhere between midnight Sunday and 8 a.m. Monday morning. The Sheriff's Department received a call at 8:11 a.m. reporting the money missing.
No suspect has yet been identified in the heist. Surveillance videos are being reviewed, a process which could take several weeks, Sgt. Evans said.“We’re looking at all the angles right now and we’re not ruling out any possibilities.”
The casino is located at 25575 Highway 79 in Sansta Ysabel. The exact amount of the loss has not been disclosed, however the money stolen likely included a combination of large and small bills, according to Sgt. Evans. “We’d be concerned about anyone suddenly going out and spending a lot of money, buying a new sports car,” he noted.
Deputies and detectives of the Sheriff’s Rural Law Enforcement Division are leading the investigation, along with members of the Sheriff’s Crime Lab, Sheriff’s Criminal Intelligence Detail, and Sheriff’s Financial Crimes Unit. The San Diego FBI Field Office and California Department of Justice are also lending their expertise to the investigation, since it involves a casino on tribal land.
Anyone with information on this case is asked to call the Sheriff’s Ranchita Substation at (760)782-4105 or after hours, Sheriff’s Communication Center at (858)565-5200. You may also call Crime Stoppers at (888)580-TIPS (8477) .