Employees testify in Bellagio robbery hearing

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LAS VEGAS - Bellagio employees gave conflicting testimony Monday when it came to identifying the men who robbed the Strip resort's casino.

The testimony came during a preliminary hearing for Oscar Sanchez Cisneros, 23, and Jose Manuel Vigoa, 40, who appeared before Justice of the Peace Deborah Lippis. The pair face 16 charges stemming from the June robbery of the Bellagio in which three armed men wearing body armor robbed the main change cage and fired shots at security guards as they escaped.

A surveillance shift supervisor testified that he recognized Vigoa from images he saw on the casino's in-house cameras during the robbery.

''The person on the video is him,'' said Brian Zincke as he pointed to Vigoa.

But other workers who were present during the robbery gave much more vague descriptions of two men who approached the casino's change cage moments before the robbery.

One cashier described the man who jumped over the cage counter as ''chubby'' and carrying a silver gun along with a sack.

Huey Roth, another casino cashier who was working the window at the time of the holdup, said he could not identify the individuals.

''I kept focusing on the gun,'' he said. ''I never looked up at his face.''

Roth added, however, that the man at the window did not have an accent when he told Roth, ''This is going to be a robbery.''

When prosecutors cross-examined Roth about describing the man at the window's height as about 5 feet 10 inches, Roth admitted he was guessing.

Roth was the fourth of some 20 witnesses expected to be called Monday.

Cisneros and Vigoa are suspects in a series of other violent casino holdups and also in a fatal armored car robbery in Henderson.

Police say evidence links Vigoa to a series of other resort holdups at New York-New York, Mandalay Bay, the Desert Inn and the MGM Grand, although charges have not been filed.

In addition, police are trying to tie the pair to the March 3 armored car robbery outside the Ross Dress for Less store that left Armored Transport guards Richard F. Sosa and Gary Dea Prestidge II dead. No arrests have been made in the Ross store killings.


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