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Third Bellagio Suspect Arrested

28 August 2000

by Keith Paul

LAS VEGAS, Nevada – Aug. 28, 2000 --A 35-year-old man, who is accused of being the third robber of a trio that held up a Strip casino, is now the target of a Henderson Police investigation trying to link him to the gunning down of two armored car guards.

Luis Suarez, 35, of Las Vegas, was arrested Saturday, charged in the June robbery of the Bellagio hotel-casino cashier cage. Jose Vigoa, 40, and Oscar Cisneros Sanchez, 23, have already been charged in connection with the heist.

"Obviously he's got some involvement with our two suspects, and we'll look into it," Henderson Police Capt. Richard Perkins said. "We would consider him like we would consider anyone who has a connection with our other two suspects." Vigoa and Sanchez have not been charged but are suspects in the March 3 armored car heist that escalated into a shootout that left Armored Transport of Nevada guards Richard F. Sosa, 47, and Gary Dean Prestidge II, 23, dead in the parking lot of a Henderson shopping center.

Perkins would not comment further on the slayings of the armored car guards or Suarez's possible involvement.

Prosecutors have not filed murder charges against Vigoa and Sanchez yet. Perkins said last month police have the probable cause necessary to make the arrest at any time, but are not in a rush since both men are being held without bond on other charges.

Metro Police had sought Suarez earlier in the summer for questioning after Vigoa and Sanchez were arrested in connection with armored car robberies outside the MGM Grand, Desert Inn and Mandalay Bay hotel-casinos and a holdup inside the New York-New York hotel-casino over the past two years, in addition to the Bellagio robbery.

Three robbers were involved in all of the holdups and in the Henderson armored car heist that turned deadly. Vigoa is suspected of leading the robbery crew, police say.

Vigoa and Sanchez have been suspects in the homicides since their June 7 arrest in connection with the $160,000 Bellagio hotel-casino robbery.

The evidence linking them to the deadly robbery in front of the Ross Dress for Less store in the Whitney Ranch Center on Stephanie Street has been building since their arrest on other charges, police say.

Henderson Police have previously confirmed the DNA testing of blood found in a getaway car used in the deadly armored car holdup determined it came from Sanchez. Police also have previously told the Sun that Sanchez had a bullet wound in his leg -- a wound that detectives suspect happened during the gun battle between Prestidge and the robbers.

Additionally, ballistic tests have determined assault rifle shell casings found at the Henderson scene match casings found in the botched June 1999 armored car robbery in the parking lot of the Desert Inn hotel-casino.

 
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