Wednesday, December 15, 2010

$1.5m in 3 minutes by lone thief-Las Vegas, USA

Who needs Ocean's Eleven? Lone Vegas gunman escapes with $1.5million in daring raid on Bellagio casino

Last updated at 5:06 AM on 15th December 2010

He must either be incredibly foolhardy, or have nerves of steel.
These astonishing CCTV images show a lone gunman escaping with $1.5million in chips last night from one of the most famous - and heavily guarded - casinos in the world, the Bellagio in Las Vegas.
The man parked his motorcycle outside the valet and walked to a craps table at about 3.50am on Monday morning, Lieutenant Clint Nichols said.

Surveillance footage of an armed robber escaping with $1.5million in gambling chips from the Bellagio Casino in Las Vegas
Heist: An armed robber held up the Bellagio casino in Las Vegas last night escaping with $1.5million in gambling chips

Quick work: The gunman wore a full-face helmet and escaped on his motorcycle parked outside in the robbery that took just seconds
He pulled a gun on the croupier, demanded the chips and fled the casino - the same casino which featured so heavily in the Hollywood heist film Ocean's Eleven.
The man was wearing a black jumpsuit, full-face red helmet with white stripes and escaped on a black sport-style motorcycle.
The whole episode took less than three minutes. Police commented that the robbery was 'about as quick as you can do it'. 
It was that simple - perhaps too simple.
Police would not reveal today if the chips contained any tracking devices or security apparatus.
Armed robber escaped with $1.5million in chips from Bellagio casino last night
Possible link: Police believe the gunman also robbed Suncoast casino last week making off with $20,000 worth of chips
And it was still not clear why security did not apprehend the man immediately - though there was speculation guards feared to trigger a confrontation with an armed and desperate man in the middle of the casino. 
As it all happened so fast, they may simply not have had time.
Authorities said Bellagio security were on the situation relatively quickly with a staff member calling 911 before the assailant had even left the casino floor.
Gordon Absher, spokesman for Bellagio owner MGM Resorts International, declined to discuss the robbery - but he noted that casino chips are not the same as cash.
'At some point they have to be redeemed', Mr Absher said.
Bellagio casino robbed of $1.5million in gambling chips
Targeted: The Bellagio Hotel and Casino is one of the most popular spots on the Vegas strip
Chips are usually unique to casino properties and are not interchangeable. 
Mr Absher would not say if MGM Resorts properties are among Las Vegas casinos that embed radio frequency devices in its chips.
The chips taken from the Bellagio robbery ranged in value from $100 to $25,000. Authorities plan to watch for anyone trying to cash high-value Bellagio chips.
Las Vegas police officer Barbara Morgans said: 'We have safeguards in place'.
At a news conference today, Lieutenant Nichols said: 'The suspect entered the casino and went directly to a craps table and confronted several patrons with a firearm - telling everyone not to move'.
Bellagio Casino in Las Vegas was robbed of $1.5million in gambling chips last night by an armed gunman
Popular: The Bellagio Casino offers a variety of slots, table games and poker rooms
'The robber ran back out of his casino following his original route and jumped on his motorcycle and exited westbound at a high rate of speed.' 
Police said no shots were fired and no one was injured. About 15 casino patrons were in the area when police arrived in the early hours to investigate the robbery.
Investigators are now reviewing surveillance videos and camera images of the robbery to get a clue as to who carried out the heist. Authorities believe the man worked alone.
Police later released an 11-second video showing a man in a jumpsuit running through the casino entry lobby with a gun in his right hand.

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