The Story of My Stolen Purse in Las Vegas

Posted on Jan 21, 2013 in Conferences & Networking |

I can now cross “having my purse stolen in Las Vegas” off my life experiences check list.  Here’s how it went down.

While in Las Vegas for the fabulous Affiliate Summit West 2013, on Monday evening I took some time away from parties and happy hours to have dinner with my friend & former boss Connie and afterwards we went off in pursuit of the golden slot machine that would pay for our trips.  After some trial & error, we found ourselves in the Forum Casino area of Caesars Palace.  Connie had settled in on an older vintage machine whereas I wanted the newer machines with all the video game-like bonuses, so I told her where I was going & wandered off to a neighboring bank of penny slots.  After awhile, I decided I was done with that machine & wandered back.  After a minute or two playing some 25¢ slots behind her, I told Connie I was going to go to another bank of slots across the way.

After making my way around a kiosk of machines to find which one “spoke to me”, I went to insert my players card and voucher.  That’s when I realized… WHERE IS MY PURSE?!?!Woman Freaking Out

I jogged back to Connie, hoping I’d just set it down in the chair next to her.  No such luck.  She hadn’t seen my purse, but of course, hadn’t really been paying attention.  I look behind her where I’d been sitting, no purse.  Jogged over to the other bank of slots, NO PURSE!  I looked beside the machines, in the old coin areas that are merely decorative now, and under all the chairs.  WHERE IS MY PURSE?!

I’m glad I was with Connie, because she had the presence of mind to tell me to go tell a security guard that I’d lost my purse.  I’m not sure I’d have thought of that in my panic.

The security guard radios it in and I take him to where I last saw my purse, the first machine with the bonuses.  He asked how long ago was it, and was I SURE that’s where I last left it.

It’s a good thing I have a photographic and sensory memory.  I told him it was less than 5 minutes because the last time I had my purse I remember vividly pulling a cough drop out & putting it in my mouth.  The cough drop is still in my mouth & not even halfway gone.  See?  There’s the wrapper sitting in the ashtray next to the machine.  I could still taste the lip butter I’d put on from inside my purse and, of course, the last thing I remember was tilting my phone out to see that it was just before 11 o’clock.  So yeah, I’m sure.

I tell him the general description of my purse (again, very vivid since it was a Christmas present) and he makes some calls.  He points himself towards a specific camera in the ceiling and waves, which is when I start to remember the MANY shows I’ve seen on cable about how well oiled a machine the surveillance system at Las Vegas casinos are.  We wait awhile, the security guard explaining that they’re putting a rush on looking at the tapes and if a cleaning person or server picked it up, it’ll take 10-20 minutes for them to get back to their stations to report the found object.

LuLu Rouched Clutch

My LuLu Rouched Clutch

After waiting a few minutes with Connie for someone to turn it in, crying a bit because I can’t believe what an idiot I am to lose my purse, the guard decides that it’s been enough time waiting to hear someone turned it in that he’s going to go ahead and take me to the security booth to fill out an official incident report so they can “continue their investigation”.  Connie assures me that she’ll wait right there for me, and I head off.

Of course, after I fill out the incident report, my current boss Roger, his friend, and my co-worker Randy come wandering by.  Randy, being the consummate joker, asks if I’m in trouble of course.  I tell them that I lost my purse & Roger says to text him when I get my phone back.  Like Connie, they all tell me to think positive & that they’re sure it’ll turn up.  Being a pessimist, I was seriously doubting that.

The guard tells me he has to get back, but another person on their team, a woman, was going to come talk to me.  I chat with the guard stationed at the booth – super nice guy that actually used to live in the Bay Area.  We talk about housing prices and whatnot, and it really helps to distract me from the horror show that my night has turned into.  I finally see this woman who fit the first guard’s description walking towards us, when all of a sudden she stops short, listening to her radio on her shoulder.  She turns back around and walks towards the Forum Casino, where we’d just come from.

A minute later, the guard in the booth listens intently on his shoulder radio and says, “They think they got the guy”.


“So it was stolen after all?” I ask.  He nods.  At least I didn’t lose it, I think, but I still have no clue how someone got my purse away from me considering it was more of a clutch with a wrist strap that I had on the whole time (or so I thought).  Another moment goes by and he listens in then says “Oh, they think it was a woman”.

That bitch! I think… then the guard asks if I’d like to press charges.  Now I’m conflicted, because I do want to, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to go to the last day of the conference, if I’ll have to stay in town longer, or if I’ll have to come back at some point.  So I ask what pressing charges would entail.  When he tells me that it would just be 45-60 more minutes of my time to fill out extra paperwork, I

quickly agree to press charges.  He said it best when he explained that he’s glad I’m pressing charges – most people are on vacation & don’t want to be hassled with it as long as they get their stuff back, but if I don’t press charges then they just have to let the perp go, and then they’re going to do it to someone else.

Yeah, I said perp.  I watch a lot of Law & Order.


We chat some more, about a case they had where a man picked up some woman’s $50,000 bracelet that she’d dropped in the casino & went to jail for 5 years, essentially for not turning it in to Lost & Found since he didn’t actively rob her, and soon enough a manager type guy (suit & earwig, no uniform) comes walking our way with my little silver purse in hand.

YAY!  I clap for him to signal I can tell it’s my purse!  He comes over and asks me to verify that everything is in my purse, and it is.  Including more cash than I actually thought I’d had.  I ask about the paperwork and he says it’s not necessary, and that I should enjoy the rest of my night and that they’re sorry for my ordeal.  All told, it was about an hour between reporting my purse missing to the security guard and the manager bringing it back & sending me along on my way.

I never did meet the person who stole it.  I never did see the tape or learn how exactly she got my purse away from me.  I’m assuming that the video evidence was clear enough that they didn’t need any additional paperwork from me.  They have all my contact information on my incident report, so if they need me, I assume they’ll call.

I was happy to find Connie sitting right where I’d left her, and flashed her my (tightly clutched) purse as I made my way back to her.  We ended our night with some celebratory over-priced drinks with some folks we knew already holding court in the Galleria bar & then I was back up to my room!  I te

ll ya… next time it’s over-the-shoulder purses for me that I can keep a better eye on!