Tests planned in effort to link heists with murders

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LAS VEGAS - Police are comparing ballistics and blood evidence to determine whether two men arrested in a series of brazen casino and armored car robberies are linked to the shooting deaths of two guards.

Henderson Police want to know whether Jose Vigoa and Oscar Cisneros, both of Las Vegas, were involved in the robbery at a Ross for Less dress store that left two armored car guards dead.

Vigoa, 40, and Cisneros, 23, were booked into the Clark County Detention Center on Wednesday on charges of robbery, kidnapping and attempted murder. The two are being held without bond pending a court appearance Monday.

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Lt. John Alamshaw said authorities recovered weapons, body armor, a large amount of cash and other items to link the pair to five major heists involving casinos and armored cars.

Henderson Police Capt. Monty Sparks said authorities consider the pair possible suspects in the deaths of armored car guards Richard Sosa, 47, and Gary Pestridge II, 23, who were ambushed at the Ross store March 3.

Sparks said police will compare the two suspects' blood with blood found in the getaway car at the Ross robbery. Police believe one of the robbers was shot in the leg during the robbery.

Henderson police are not in a rush to file murder charges because Vigoa and Cisneros are being held on more than 20 counts and ''aren't going anywhere,'' Sparks said.

The two have been linked to five high-profile heists, Alamshaw said, including:

- The weekend robbery of the main casino cage at the Bellagio resort, in which two men jumped into the cage and took cash while a third stood lookout;

- The Oct. 11, 1999 robbery of two armored car guards inside the Mandalay Bay resort after the guards picked up cash at the casino cage;

- The Sept. 21, 1998 robbery of two armored car guards in the MGM Grand hotel-casino after the guards picked up money from the casino cage;

- The April theft of a cart full of money from the New York-New York hotel-casino;

- The attempted robbery of two armored car guards who were ambushed outside the Desert Inn hotel-casino. The June 28, 1999, gun battle startled tourists and left the guards wounded.

Three men were involved in several of the heists and police said they are searching for other suspects.


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