Post image for Las Vegas casino chip heist: thief absconds with $1.5 million to no avail

Las Vegas casino chip heist: thief absconds with $1.5 million to no avail

by Jorge Hernandez on December 16, 2010

An armed man dressed in a black jumpsuit and red helmet stole $1.5 million worth of casino chips from the Bellagio early Tuesday morning, making off on the Las Vegas Strip with little else but a bag full of empty tokens.

The man allegedly parked his motorcycle outside the heavily guarded casino and marched up to a craps table at about 3:50 a.m. He brandished his gun, claimed the gambling chips and fled on his bike. The caper has drawn copious comparisons to Ocean's Eleven, reports the U.K.'s Daily Mail.

Police at the casino said they let the man escape to prevent a shoot-out.

"Which is a worse headline? '$1.5 Million Stolen from Casino'? or 'Patrons Killed in Casino Firefight'?" former casino security guard David Schwartz asked the Associated Press.

Ultimately, there were no injuries, shots fired or money stolen.

The casino chips themselves have no value unless they're cashed in at the Bellagio, at which point, if attempted, the robber would be arrested. Some gambling chips in Las Vegas are equipped with radio tracking devices, though police wouldn't say for sure if the Bellagio had such security measures in place.

"In truth, the motorcycle bandit likely sped off with the same amount of winnings as most Vegas low-rollers – next to nothing. The predominant reaction here: What a fool," writes the Los Angeles Times.

"He made off with pieces of plastic that probably cost the casino 70 cents each," gaming consultant Robert Del Rossi told the news source.

According to the Daily Mail, police believe he is the same suspect who robbed the Suncoast Casino on December 9.

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