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Robber leaves chips in Vegas casino heist

By Ken Ritter

Associated Press

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 09:46 a.m. HST, Apr 20, 2011



LAS VEGAS >> An armed man tried to scoop up gambling chips but dropped them and ran when he was confronted by a poker room employee during a botched overnight robbery at a Las Vegas casino, police said Wednesday.

No shots were fired, no injuries were reported and the would-be robber escaped with nothing in the daring 12:45 a.m. heist at the Stratosphere casino on the Las Vegas Strip.

Las Vegas police were looking for the robber and another man who ran from the casino at the same time, and investigators were reviewing security videotapes to try to identify the bandit. No description was immediately made public.

"The casino has all kinds of cameras. We're hoping for something that identifies him," officer Marcus Martin said.

Investigators didn't know if the man escaped in a vehicle or on foot.

It was the third grab-and-run heist at a Las Vegas casino in four months. Police don't believe the cases are connected, Martin said.

A son of a local judge faces a Thursday court appearance for a December robbery by a helmet-wearing bandit who waved a gun and snatched $1.5 million in chips from a craps table at the posh Bellagio casino, then sped away on a motorcycle.

Anthony Carleo, 29, is being held on $1 million bail at the Clark County jail in Las Vegas pending trial. He could face decades in prison if convicted of multiple felony charges, including assault with a deadly weapon.

A taxi driver and an accused accomplice were arrested after a February heist that netted about $33,000 in chips at the Rio All-Suites Hotel & Casino. The robber, identified as Steven Gao, 45, wore a wig and fake mustache and brandished a handgun during that heist, but no one was hurt, police said. Gao remains a fugitive.

The landmark Stratosphere has a 2,444-room hotel and the tallest structure on the Las Vegas Strip — a 1,149-foot tower resembling the Space Needle in Seattle.






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