Multi-million dollar heist at Rio Hotel and Casino incites inter - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Multi-million dollar heist at Rio Hotel and Casino incites international investigation

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A multi-million dollar burglary at the Rio Hotel and Casino led a vintage watch collector on an international search for the thieves. Jeff Harris was in Las Vegas on April 2 for a watch and jewelry conference. He said he didn't know it at the time, but he was being watched from the moment he arrived. 

"I was being targeted. There were at least two people, possibly three, waiting for me to arrive at the Rio," Harris said. 

Harris said a man named Filippo Salvador Cuomo chatted him up on April 3 after the conference, eventually riding the elevator with him and watching him get off. Harris left his room for about an hour. When he came back he found the door open and the hotel safe in his bathroom gone. 

He had $2 million worth of watches in that safe. 

"Oh my God, it was like surreal, it was like a dream, a nightmare I wasn't going to be able to get out of. That will stay with me for the rest of my life, that moment," Harris said.

Las Vegas Metro Police, the FBI and Harris' private investigators got involved in the case. Police found Cuomo in Miami about a week after the burglary, they extradited him back to Las Vegas where he pleaded guilty to larceny. 

Harris' private investigator Jorge Del Rio said Cuomo's arrest was just the beginning of their investigation. 

"We've never seen a multitude of a robbery to this extent, especially in a property of 22 hundred rooms, in a Casino where millions of dollars are being stored," Del Rio said. 

He said he and his partner tracked down a man they think is Cuomo's partner in crime to Italy, and they found Cuomo's girlfriend in South America. 

 "We've been all around the world in this case basically, we've been to Buenos Aires Argentina, Rome Italy," Del Rio said. 

He said they aren't stopping until they find the watches. Harris said those watches are his priority as well. 

"There are no other similar watches for sale as of this moment, so if one were to come up, it would be mine," he said. 

Cuomo is due to be in court on Wednesday Aug. 9th for sentencing, he is facing a maximum of two to five years in prison as a result of his plea agreement. 

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