$1.5M Chip Bandit Can't Cash in Casino Loot

Bellagio robber escaped with too-hot-to-handle chips
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 16, 2010 2:19 AM CST
Bellagio Bandit Won't Be Able to Cash In
Police believe this bandit caught on camera at the Las Vegas Suncoast Casino last week is the same man who who escaped on a motorcycle with about $1.5 million worth of casino chips from the Bellagio.   (AP Photo/Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)

The bandit who robbed Las Vegas' Bellagio casino this week went to a lot of trouble to get his hands on some mostly worthless plastic chips, security experts say. The helmet-wearing gunman made off with $1.5 million in casino chips ranging in value from $100 to $25,000—but he won't be able to redeem them anywhere except at the scene of the crime. Casinos don't publicize their security measures, but the $25,000 chips are almost certainly fitted with some kind of tracking device, the Los Angeles Times notes.

Casino security guards didn't pursue the robber, and experts say letting him get away was definitely the right move. A gaming researcher at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas asked: "Which is a worse headline: '$1.5 million stolen from the Bellagio in chips'—or 'Three innocent bystanders dead in gun battle'?"
(More casino stories.)

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