A Maryland Live casino employee thought he was pulling a fast one when he stole a stack of $100 bills totaling $150,000 from his employer during a recent shift.
But casino security and police moved fast as well, tracking the man’s cellphone in an effort to locate him once the theft was discovered.
Officers from the Anne Arundel County and D.C. police departments arrested 21-year-old Willie Washington in connection with the theft on Wednesday, within hours of the casino realizing the money had gone missing.
Maryland Live discovered $150,000 in cash missing during a routine audit conducted Wednesday after the end of Mr. Washington’s shift, according to Anne Arundel County Police. Security went back to watch surveillance video and saw Mr. Washington stuffing the stack of cash inside his unbuttoned shirt and then leaving work early. By the time the audit caught the cash discrepancy, the casino employee had already been off work for nearly two hours.
To find Mr. Washington, Anne Arundel County Police spokesman Justin Mulcahy said officers were “able to secure a cellphone ping order” for his phone. Pinging is a practice by which the phone’s carrier can send a signal to a phone and determine its location through cell tower data, allowing police to track the phone in real time.
Officers caught up with Mr. Washington in the District, where they recovered more than $34,000 in cash stuffed in his sock and pants, Mr. Mulcahy said. Approximately $100,000 was also recovered from the trunk of a car belonging to a friend of Mr. Washington. The remaining $16,000 of the $150,000 that Maryland Live reported missing has not been accounted for.
A Maryland Live Casino spokeswoman did not return calls for comment.
It was unclear what specific charges Mr. Washington would face because he was being held in the District on a warrant and had not been extradited to Anne Arundel County.
Family members could not be reached for comment at a phone number listed for Mr. Washington’s home.