Police Hit Jackpot with Casino Robbery Arrest

Suspect nabbed after he commited another robbery

After having nightmares for months from being attacked and robbed in a casino parking garage, Anthony Vastardis is finally able to sleep peacefully.
Vastardis told NBC 10 News Wednesday he is relieved after Atlantic City Police arrested a man in the brutal assault January 4 at the Trump Taj Mahal.
Police charged Lawrence Bellamy, 30, of Baltimore, MD with robbery and assault on Monday.
“I feel very comfortable now that he’s caught. He won’t bother me, won’t bother anybody else,” Vastardis said.
Bellamy watched the 70-year-old Cumberland County man playing blackjack at the Taj Mahal, got into an elevator with him, then beat him in the garage before stealing $10,000 in casino winnings, police said. A portion of the incident was captured on surveillance video.
Bellamy fled the scene in a taxi, leaving Vastardis in the garage with a broken hip and other injuries, according to investigators.
“It’s good for all the people and not just our client that he is in jail,” Vastardis’ attorney Joe O’Neill said.
Police said Bellamy ended up behind bars after he robbed someone else at Trump Plaza on March 17 and got caught. His picture was distributed to other casinos and a sharp-eyed security investigator at Borgata recognized him from a photo distributed after the attack on Anthony Vastardis,” authorities said.
Vastardis, who is using a wheelchair as he undergoes physical therapy for his injuries, said he identified Bellamy Monday after seeing his picture in a photo lineup. Sources told NBC 10 that prior to the attack on Vastardis, Bellamy had been convicted of three similar crimes involving casino customers. He received probation rather than prison time, sources said.
“I really don’t understand how we could let these people go. They’re repeat offenders, you let them go. You allow them to say, ‘okay do it again,’” Vastardis said.
Bellamy was locked up Wednesday evening in the Atlantic County Jail in lieu of $250,000 bail.
Meanwhile, Vastardis had words of praise for the Atlantic City Police Department, particularly Detective Tom Holton.
“I have a special place in my heart for him. And he stayed on this case,” Vastardis said.

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