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Black Hawk casino heist is largest in Colorado history

In an arrest affidavit, the Division of Gaming said a Monarch Casino cashier packed half a million dollars into a box and then drove off in a minivan.

BLACK HAWK, Colo. — The largest casino heist in Colorado history happened as the clocks sprung forward earlier this month.

Investigators said early the morning Daylight Saving Time began, a cashier walked out of the Monarch Casino with $500,000 in cash.

At 12:45 in the morning on March 12, cashier Sabrina Eddy, 44, was captured on video reaching into the vault of the casino's cage and grabbing bricks of $50,000 each, a Division of Gaming investigator said in an affidavit.

"Each time Eddy grabbed the stacks, she placed the stacks into the same box," the affidavit said. "She put what appeared to be clearing rags in the box and, at about 12:55 am, she taped the box shut."

The affidavit said Eddy walked out of the casino cage to the parking garage, got into a gold minivan and drove off. She returned an hour later, investigators said, and grabbed four more bricks of bills -- for a total of half a million dollars in all -- before driving off again.

"For something like that to happen, it would’ve had to defeat a number of different levels of casino controls within the property," said Ron Kammerzell, a former head of the Colorado Division of Gaming who now works as a regulatory consultant for the gaming industry. 

Kammerzell said he'd never heard of a casino theft of this magnitude since gaming became legal in the state in 1991.

The spokesperson for the Division of Gaming, Suzi Karrer, told 9NEWS over text "We have no comment." She did not answer any follow-up questions.

Monarch Casino confirmed a theft occurred, but would not give any further details, citing the ongoing investigation. 

"As a business, sometimes unfortunate things happen," spokesperson Erica Ferris said. "We've been fortunate in the past."

The affidavit said Eddy insisted she did nothing wrong and said she thought casino bosses told her to take out the cash.

Credit: Monarch Casino

She told investigators she received a call on the casino's phone from a man purporting to be Monarch's head of operations. He and another man, who she believed was a cage manager while exchanging texts with him, told her the casino was having a problem with a UPS order and needed the money or the casino would "be in breach of contract," she told investigators, according to the affidavit.

She said the two men told her the funds would be delivered to a lawyer. She brought the box to St. Anthony's Hospital, where a man came to her door and took it at approximately 4:36 in the morning, the affidavit said.

When she tried to call back the men who instructed her to take out the money, she told investigators there was no answer. 

"At this time, she called the casino to inform them that she was returning to the casino," the affidavit said.

The affidavit indicated Eddy told the casino she had taken money off property and "thought she might be arrested."

Eddy told investigators she was aware of casino procedures, but said she didn't follow them because she was instructed by a "Casino Member" to do otherwise.

"Eddy continued to state she did nothing wrong, but she was just following orders she believed had [been] put out by the casino," the affidavit said.

Kammerzell said the Division of Gaming would investigate the theft -- and the policies and procedures at Monarch that allowed it to happen. 

"One of the large things is trying to identify what went wrong and how you prevent that from occurring in the future," he said.

Eddy was booked into the Gilpin County jail later in the day on March 12 on suspicion of theft. She has not made bond.

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