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December 14, 2010

Helmet-wearing gunman robs Bellagio casino of $1.5 million in chips

(CNN) — Police say they’re trying to find a helmet-wearing gunman who robbed one of Las Vegas’ most recognizable casinos of $1.5 million in casino chips Tuesday morning — and may also have robbed a different casino last week.

Las Vegas police say they believe whoever robbed the Bellagio (left) on Tuesday also robbed the Suncoast casino last week.

With a helmet and visor hiding his face, the man rode to Bellagio casino on a motorcycle, walked inside and pulled a gun at a craps table where several people were gambling at about 3:50 a.m., said Lt. Clint Nichols of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

The gunman told everyone not to move, and then took the casino’s supply of chips "that were … [in] the box they keep on the craps table," Nichols said.

The man then ran back outside to the motorcycle, which he rode away, Nichols said. No injuries were reported.

The man might be the same person who robbed the Suncoast Hotel & Casino on Thursday morning, police said. In that robbery, a man wearing a motorcycle helmet robbed the cage area of a poker tournament room of less than $20,000 in cash at about 12:30 a.m., Nichols said.

The Suncoast casino is about a 20-minute drive northwest of the Bellagio, the Las Vegas Strip facility that is renowned in part for a huge fountain that shoots water 240 feet into the air, choreographed to music.

Police released surveillance images of both robberies, as well as surveillance video of the suspect running through the Bellagio. The Bellagio images show a man wearing a black helmet with white stripes, a black down jacket, black pants and gloves, police said. The man is white, about 5 feet 10 inches to 6 feet tall and weighs about 220 pounds, according to police.

The Suncoast images show the robber wearing a silver helmet and dark clothes.

Nichols said he believes the chips taken in the Bellagio robbery range in value from $100 to $25,000. The higher-value chips should be hard to convert, he said.

"The industry has some safeguards in place that make that … extremely difficult," Nichols told reporters at a news conference Tuesday.

Nichols said the department has recorded 10 casino robberies this year. Nine were reported last year.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Las Vegas Police Department at 702-828-3591, or you can place an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers of Nevada at 702-385-5555.


THIS is the perfect motorcycle for a Casino heist:

B120 Wraith

One Comment leave one →
  1. B Hawkins permalink
    December 19, 2010 11:09 pm

    Love the post about Florida, I live in Naples which is as far south as you can go on the west coast. I’m not sure if you are still in the Homestead area, if you are I have a few recommendations for you.
    I hear Flamingo Florida is a great day trip on the bike. Wikipedia has this to say about it, Flamingo is an unincorporated community and ghost town in Monroe County, Florida, United States. It began as a small coastal settlement on the eastern end of Cape Sable on the southern tip of the Florida peninsula, facing Florida Bay. It is now the southernmost headquarters of Everglades National Park, the end of the 99-mile Wilderness Waterway known as the Ten Thousand Islands, and the southern end of the only road (running 38 miles) through the park from Florida City.
    I would also recommend going home by way of US highway 41 (state road 90), this will take you through the everglades, some Seminole reservation, and Miccosukee reservations. Just take Krome Ave (state road 997) out of Homestead and take a left on highway 41. There is a gas station on your right at the intersection; this would be a good time to get gas. At this intersection there is also a casino, they have a $6.95 steak and lobster dinner you have to try if you have time.
    Take hwy 41 to state road 29, take a right and head north, or take a left and go to Everglades city, good restaurants, charter fishing, and air boat rides.
    Going north you will stay on 29 going through Immokalee and then coming to LaBelle. Before Immokalee there is a town called Ave Maria (it is off of Oil Well Rd.), it is a Catholic town developed by Tom Monaghan (founder of Domino’s pizza). There is a pub at Ave Maria called The Queen Mary’s Pub it is biker friendly, the owner Daniel loves to listen to stories, he has a few of his own also..
    From Immokalee it is about 37 miles to Hwy 27 were you will take a left and head north. Hwy 27 will take you to I-4 which can take you back to I-95.
    Sorry this post is so long, I really enjoy reading you post and thought this is one way I can give back to you.
    Either way…ride safe

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