LAS VEGAS (AP) — A trial for a Las Vegas police officer accused of stealing nearly $165,000 in a series of casino heists is set to begin Monday with prosecutors painting him as a gambling addict who grew increasingly desperate under a crush of debt.
Rogers’ attorney, Richard Pocker, said the government’s evidence allegedly tying Rogers to two of the robberies is weak. He accused the FBI and Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department detectives of pressuring two people, including Rogers’ brother, into identifying him as the suspect in the robberies to close out the cases.
Rogers made off with more than $85,000 in the first two robberies between November 2021 and January 2022 at casinos off the Las Vegas Strip while his police colleagues spent months trying to catch the thief, investigators and prosecutors said.
The robber’s approach was essentially the same in all three crimes, authorities said. He wore a face mask, dark clothing and black latex gloves. After cashiers handed over the money, he placed the cash inside a bag underneath his jacket. Then the suspect with the “unique gait” ran back to his vehicle, limping “because of a problem with his leg,” according to a criminal complaint.
Rogers was a seven-year police veteran employed by the Las Vegas metro police as an active-duty patrol officer at the time of the robberies. He remains employed but is on unpaid leave “without police powers” pending the outcome of the criminal case, a department spokesperson said.
Those testifying will include casino cashiers, security guards and Josiah Rogers, who identified his brother on video captured by casino security cameras during the first two robberies, prosecutors said last week, noting that Josiah Rogers will be granted immunity from legal action.
In the third alleged robbery, Rogers parked an unregistered minivan outside the casino and entered just before 7 a.m., while employees at the casino’s sportsbook prepared to open. He wore body armor underneath his clothing and was armed with a department-issued revolver with a yellow sticker covering its serial number, according to a criminal complaint.
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