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Bellagio heist similar to earlier robbery

December 14, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
An armed bandit who stole at least $1.5 million in casino chips from the posh Bellagio resort may have pulled a similar stunt across town recently.Bellagio security video shows the suspected casino bandit wearing his motorcycle helmet and fleeing the casino.

According to Las Vegas police, the robbery was pulled off just before 4 a.m. Tuesday in a casino pit. The suspect pulled a gun, demanded chips, and then sped off on a newer model black sport bike.

Police later released an 11-second video showing a man in a jumpsuit running through a casino entry lobby with a gun in his right hand. At one point, he turned and pointed the weapon behind him. His helmet appeared to be red with twin white stripes from front to rear.

Authorities suspect the same gunman may have tried a practice caper last week. A similar helmeted robber made off with $20,000 in chips from the Suncoast Hotel & Casino on Dec. 9. Police also released several photos Tuesday of the robber at the Suncoast.

The much more lavish Bellagio provided the bandit a much bigger haul. According to sources, the chips were in denominations between $100 and $5,000.

Gordon Absher, spokesman for Bellagio owner MGM Resorts International, declined to discuss the investigation. But he noted that casino chips aren't the same as cash.

"At some point they have to be redeemed," Absher said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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