Armed Motorcycle Bandit Nabs $1.5M in Vegas Heist

An armed robber didn't need luck to leave the craps table with a big payout.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department released this surveillance video frame of a bandit wearing a motorcycle helmet during an armed robbery at the Bellagio.

    Las Vegas police released surveillance photos Tuesday of an armed casino bandit who escaped the Bellagio with $1.5 million worth of gambling chips.

    "The suspect, wearing a full-face motorcycle helmet, entered the casino and went directly to a craps table. He pulled a gun, told everyone not to move and took approximately $1.5 million worth of casino chips," according to a Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department news release.

    The robbery happened at 3:50 a.m. Tuesday and lasted only a few minutes. The man sped away on Flamingo Road on a black sport-style motorcycle.

    Police Lt. Clint Nichols told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that security officers did not try to stop the gunman. There were about 15 patrons in the area during the robbery, detectives told the Las Vegas Sun.

    Gordon Absher, spokesman for Bellagio owner MGM Resorts International, said the casino chips aren't the same as cash.

    "At some point they have to be redeemed," he told the Associated Press.

    Chips are unique to casino properties and are generally not interchangeable, although state regulations allow casino companies to redeem chips from sister properties with some restrictions.

    Absher wouldn't say if MGM Resorts properties are among Las Vegas casinos that embed radio frequency devices in chips. But police will be keeping a close eye on cashier cages in case someone shows up with a stack of $25,000 chips.

    "We have safeguards in place," police Officer Barbara Morgan said.

    Police say the biker may also be responsible for robbing a Las Vegas Suncoast Casino poker room cashier on Dec. 9.

    The suspect is described as a white man, between 5 feet 10 inches and 6 feet tall, weighing about 220 pounds. He was wearing a white motorcycle helmet, black down jacket, black pants and black gloves.

    The motorcycle is described as a 2009-2010 black sport bike, according to police.

    No shots were fired and no one was injured.

    Any with information can contact Vegas police at 702-828-3591. Tipsters wishing to remain anonymous can call 702-385-5555 or visit www.crimestoppersofnv.com.