A New Jersey man tried his luck by test-driving a new truck.
Only instead of returning the 2023 GMC Sierra after a brief spin, one New Jersey man decided to take a bigger gamble and drove more than 40 miles away to Atlantic City.
It was a bad bet.
After the dealership reported the car stolen, police found the white truck in the parking garage at Tropicana Atlantic City. Police later tracked down Jason DeAngelo, 47, of Barnegat Township, on the casino floor.
No word whether DeAngelo was besting the house when Johnny Law showed up, but he definitely got a free ride to the Big House.
‘Honey, let’s swing by the dealership before we hit the slots’
According to a social media post, Stafford Township (Ocean County) police received a call from Barlow Buick/GMC in Manahawkin around 8:15 p.m. on Feb. 18. The dealership said a customer, identified as DeAngelo, took a vehicle out for a test drive around 11 a.m. and never returned.
A short while later, the white GMC was spotted about 25 miles away by Tuckerton Borough police, who tried to pull over the stolen vehicle.
That wasn’t in the cards for DeAngelo.
He hopped on the southbound Garden State Parkway toward the World’s Playground. Local police did not pursue.
Talk about a bad night on the tables
Stafford PD got word about the attempted traffic stop before getting a tip that the truck was near the Trop in AC. They reached out to the New Jersey State Police Casino Operations Unit, which has legal jurisdiction on the gambling floors of Atlantic City casinos.
The alleged car thief was arrested without incident in the casino, according to police.
DeAngelo was taken back to Stafford Township for processing. He is charged with third-degree unlawful taking of means of conveyance in Stafford, and second-degree eluding out of Tuckerton.
Angelo was lodged in the Ocean County Jail pending a future appearance in Ocean County Superior Court.
Colorful history at Atlantic City casinos
As odd as this incident is, it is hardly the first time an Atlantic City casino has been part of memorable criminal behavior.
Tropicana AC, for one reason or another, has hosted a number of notorious characters.
In February 2018, police broke up a meth lab operating out of a hotel room at the Trop. A fire in the room sparked a four-floor evacuation, leading to the arrest of the injured methamphetamine cook.
A year earlier, a local man was arrested for running a human trafficking ring out of a Tropicana hotel room. When cops raided the room, they found fentanyl and drug paraphernalia in the safe.
In the summer of 2020, three men were stabbed during a fight at the casino. Four people were arrested for charges ranging from attempted murder to possession of crack cocaine.
However, no Atlantic City casino criminal story is more widely known than Ray Rice at the Revel. In February 2014, the former Rutgers University and Baltimore Ravens running back knocked his wife unconscious in an elevator at the Revel Casino Hotel. The incident was caught by an elevator security camera.