Las Vegas Sun

May 26, 2017

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Court hearings scheduled for two men accused in Rio robbery

Third man still being sought in connection with Thursday casino heist

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From left to right: Edward Land, Hiroyuki Yamaguchi and Steven Gao

Rio Robbery

Hiroyuki Yamaguchi Launch slideshow »

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Map of The Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino

The Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino

3700 W. Flamingo Rd., Las Vegas

Two of the three Las Vegas men accused in last Thursday's robbery of the Rio will make appearances Tuesday morning in Las Vegas Justice Court.

Edward Hua Land, 41, and Hiroyuki Yamaguchi, 61, will have separate hearings at 7:30 a.m. before Judge Deborah Lippis. Land will have a 72-hour probable cause hearing and Yamaguchi will be arraigned at that time.

Yamaguchi had a 72-hour probable cause hearing this morning, when his arraignment date was set.

The two men were each arrested Friday on charges of robbery with a deadly weapon, burglary with the use of a deadly weapon and conspiracy to commit robbery. Both are being held in the Clark County Detention Center.

Authorities are still looking for 45-year-old Steven Gao, accused of walking into the Rio wearing a fedora hat, a wig, a fake mustache and sunglasses, then stealing $33,200 in chips and leaving in a taxi.

According to a police report, Land told police Gao owed him $15,000 and robbed the casino to pay back the debt.

Land dropped Gao off at the Rio in a Land Rover and knew of Gao's plan to rob the casino, police said.

Gao entered the casino about 4:30 a.m. and went to a Pai Gow poker table and began taking chips from the dealer and putting them in a black shoulder bag, according to Metro Police Lt. Ray Steiber.

After the dealer hit Gao's hand, Gao allegedly took out a gun, police said.

Police said. Gao finished the robbery, then left the Rio with Yamaguchi, a cab driver who police said also knew of Gao's robbery plans.

After the robbery, Gao and Yamaguchi went to the Terrible's hotel-casino at Flamingo and Paradise roads, where they met Land, Steiber said.

Police said Yamaguchi later confessed his role in the robbery. Police said they recovered $1,000 in casino chips and an unloaded handgun in Yamaguchi's cab.

Police said they also recovered $17,000 worth of chips, a wig and a black bag from Land's home. They said the chips were buried in Land's back yard.

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