• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

Palmdale man suspected in Vegas casino heist

Akingide Cole is seen in these photos released by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

October 22, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Authorities are asking for the public's help looking for a Palmdale man suspected in a $1.6 million Las Vegas casino heist.

According to the preliminary investigation, the suspect was able to get into a closed area at the Venetian Casino on Oct. 10 and stole high-denomination casino chips.

Las Vegas detectives identified the suspect as 31-year-old Akingide Cole. He is described as 6 feet tall and weighing about 225 pounds. He last had a goatee and short dark hair in a semi-mohawk, and police also said he has a distinctive fibrous growth on his left earlobe.

It's unlikely the robber will be able to redeem the high-value chips, which are usually circulated among a small group of high-rollers.

"In any of these thefts of chips, it's very difficult to cash these in," said Nevada Gaming Control Board Chief of Enforcement Jerry Markling. "Licensees generally know who their customers are."

Because of internal protocol that would flag the biggest chips, the redeemable value of the stash is estimated at $10,000, according to Ron Reese, spokesman for The Venetian's parent company, Las Vegas Sands.

Cole faces charges of suspicion of burglary, grand larceny and unlawful possession of burglary tools stemming from the heist at the Las Vegas Strip resort, police said.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Tourist Crimes Unit at (702) 828-3204 or Crime Stoppers of Nevada at (702) 385-5555.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Load Comments