LAS VEGAS — A trial of a Las Vegas police officer accused of stealing nearly $165,000 in a series of casino thefts will begin Monday with prosecutors portraying him as a day gambler. Desperate because of the debt piled up.
Prosecutors claim Caleb Rogers, 35, committed three robberies over a four-month period while armed with a police department-issued weapon.
Rogers’ attorney, Richard Poker, said government evidence accusing Rogers of two of the robberies was weak. He accused the FBI and Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department detectives of pressuring two people, including Rogers’ brother, to identify him as a suspect in the robbery to close the case.
Rogers made more than $85,000 in the first two robberies from November 2021 to January 2022 at casinos off the Las Vegas Strip while his police colleagues spent months tracking down the name. theft, investigators and prosecutors said.
Rogers narrowly made $79,000 in third Rio All-Suite hotel heist & Casino in February 2022, but security guards kept him outside after a brief struggle, authorities said.
Authorities said the robber’s approach was essentially the same in all three crimes. He wore a mask, dark clothing, and black rubber gloves. After the cashier delivered the money, he put the money in a pocket underneath his jacket. The suspect with a “unique gait” then ran back to his vehicle, limping “because of a leg problem,” according to the criminal complaint.
Mehmet Erdem, a professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, who has expertise in hotel and casino operations, said casino thefts are difficult to successfully execute.
“The chances of you being caught and identified are very high,” he said, because of the combination of strong casino security teams with uniformed guards and plainclothes police as well as advanced The suite of security technology includes facial recognition software and high-resolution cameras.
Rogers was a seven-year veteran cop employed by the Las Vegas metro police as an active patrol officer at the time of the robbery. A spokesman for the department said he was still working but was on unpaid leave “without police powers” pending the outcome of the criminal case.
Witnesses will include the casino cashier, the security guard and Josiah Rogers, who identified his brother on video captured by the casino’s security cameras during the first two robberies. prosecutors said last week, noting that Josiah Rogers will be immune from legal action.
Caleb Rogers, who was denied bail and has been in custody on four counts since his arrest, used his brother’s car in one of the robberies and instructed him to dispose of it shortly afterwards. , according to court documents.
In the third alleged robbery, Rogers parked an unregistered pickup truck outside the casino and entered shortly before 7 a.m., while staff at the casino’s sportsbook prepared to open. He wore armor underneath his clothes and was armed with a set-issue revolver with a yellow sticker on its serial number, according to the criminal complaint.
He climbed over the counter, pushed one of the two cashiers loading money into the cash register from a plastic bag containing $119,000, and shouted that he had a gun. According to the complaint, when he stuffed the money in a pocket hidden inside his jacket, loose bills floated on the casino floor.
A group of security guards caught up with the suspect shortly after he passed through the casino’s exit. He drew his weapon and asked the guards if they were “ready to be shot for this” before one of them grabbed the gun, the complaint said.
When police officers arrived, Rogers allegedly released his department’s employee numbers, which authorities said was “the way police officers typically identify themselves from one another.”
A detective then asked Rogers if anything could be done to prevent the robberies.
“Nothing,” said Rogers.