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How Not To Rob A Sportsbook – SportsUntapped.com
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Added May 20th, 2010 by David Glisan

How Not To Rob A Sportsbook
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Though I’ve never been charged with any robberies myself (implicated, though never charged) I’m a sucker for a good heist film.  In particular, I like ones where the criminals are smart.  Some heist films have desperate people doing desperate things, but I get enough of that just looking out my window here in Portland.  Some of my favorites are ‘Point Break’ where the late Patrick Swayze and his band of surfers called ‘The Ex Presidents’ have bank robbery down to a science.  And there’s the whole ‘Oceans 11’ series–the original with Frank Sinatra is entertaining as hell, but as a heist film the recent trilogy by Steven Soderbergh is hard to beat.

Unfortunately, there’s just not many good examples of the art of robbery in real life.  Most real life robberies are the aforementioned ‘desperate people doing desperate things’.  To succeed as a robber you need to be smart–as in *very* smart.  Most places with lots of money don’t like to be robbed.  Furthermore, most law enforcement agencies don’t like people to get away with robbery.  As a result, they employ the latest technology to prevent it from happening.  If you can’t at least match their technological know-how or, even better, surpass it, you’re basically screwed and your robbery career will go as well as OJ Simpson’s sports memorabilia retrieval efforts.

At the very least, get the basics right.  Today we’ve got an example of how *not* to rob sportsbooks.  Sportsbooks, be they in Las Vegas casinos or elsewhere in the world, fall into the category of places that don’t like to be robbed and take abundant technological precaution to make sure it doesn’t happen.  We can’t help you with that.  We’re talking about the *very* basic elements of robbery, and here is today’s lesson:

Don’t commit a robbery with a fake gun around people who can kick your ass

Azar Sulman, a low level street thug/doper in Burley, Leeds (that would be in England for you geographically challenged types) failed to heed that basic concept and not only did he get arrested as a result but caught a beating in the process.  Sulman decided to rob the local branch of the William Hill bookmakers chain, and didn’t do a good job profiling the customers in the shop at the time.  While its not always easy to tell who’ll be armed, who is tough, who has martial arts training etc. there’s no excuse for not aborting the robbery when there’s a big bald black dude in the place who goes 6’2″ and three bills without much fat on him.  Who happens to be a professional level rugby player.  And a judo black belt.  That’s him in the picture accompanying this post and here’s the video of how Sulman’s robbery went down:

Richardson told Sky News online:

“I wouldn’t normally open the door for anyone anyway, let alone a robber. So what if he had a gun? He was very impolite and I don’t take kindly to that.”

Here’s how he described the episode:

“He came in the door and I thought he was just joking – he had a balaclava on but he was walking a bit funny.

“Then I heard him demanding cash at the counter and knew he was raiding the place.

“He came over towards me and ordered me to open the door. He was pointing the gun in my face and was telling me he would shoot me. He had a bad attitude.

“I saw red and grabbed a chair instead – the rest is a bit of a blur – but I used my judo skills to get him down.”

So remember kids, even if you’re a desperate pothead you don’t want to roll up on a dude that looks like this:

Sportsbook robber's worst nightmare

Martin Richardson clobbers robber at William Hill in Leeds (Sky News UK)

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