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News / Clark County News

Thefts from ilani net Kelso man more than 4 years in prison

$12,500 chips taken in one incident

The Columbian
Published: July 28, 2023, 3:49pm

A Kelso man was sentenced Friday to more than four years in prison for two thefts from ilani, one of which he made off with $12,500 in chips.

Lucas Daniel Levi Bunn, 27, pleaded guilty in November 2021 in Clark County Superior Court to first-degree theft and second-degree burglary in each of the cases.

After Bunn pleaded guilty, he was screened for a drug court sentencing alternative. But Bunn failed to appear for an April 2022 hearing to review his eligibility for drug court. He was then arrested on a bench warrant last month, court records show.

Defense attorney Gregg Schile noted Bunn has pending cases in Cowlitz County. He said Bunn appeared to be in custody in Cowlitz County before being released and later arrested in connection with his Clark County cases.

Judge Robert Lewis sentenced Bunn to 50 months in each of the cases to run concurrently. The judge noted Bunn’s additional criminal history since his November 2021 plea had increased his sentencing range.

The heist began at about 7:50 a.m. April 27, 2021, when Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency advised authorities that a man was in the casino’s high limits area using a drill to break into the chips table, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

The man was thought to be Bunn, who was wearing a construction vest, the affidavit says. When security approached him, he ran from the casino, east toward Interstate 5.

Clark County sheriff’s deputies and Ridgefield police officers responded. A deputy advised he was chasing the suspect near the Shell gas station, 2814 N.W. 319th St. He was detained shortly after. According to court records, he was shocked by a stun gun before being arrested.

The suspect was identified as Bunn by his driver’s license. Officers found a Ryobi grinder and extra grinding wheels, a construction vest and 25 $500 chips in his possession. They also found a gray wig nearby, which security officers said he was wearing when initially contacted, the affidavit says.

Bunn was trespassed from ilani on Dec. 15, 2020, court records state, and had violated the barring at least twice. A month prior, he reportedly used his friend’s membership card at the casino. In that case, Bunn told officers he has a gambling problem, the affidavit states.