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Arrest made in $1.5M Bellagio chip heist

This police booking photo provided on Thursday Feb. 3, 2011 by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department shows Anthony M. Carleo, 29, from Las Vegas who was being held on felony armed robbery and burglary charges. Police say the Las Vegas man is suspected of the brazen armed robbery of $1.5 million in casino chips from the posh Bellagio resort on the Las Vegas Strip on Dec. 14. (Las Vegas Police Department)

February 3, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Police have arrested a 29-year-old Las Vegas man in connection with an armed robbery of $1.5 million in casino chips from the Bellagio resort on the Las Vegas Strip.

Las Vegas police said Anthony M. Carleo was the motorcycle-helmeted robber who waved a gun, grabbed the casino chips and took off on a motorcycle before dawn on Dec. 14. No shots were fired and no one was hurt.

Police have said they believe the same person robbed the Suncoast casino in northwest Las Vegas days before the Bellagio heist.

It is unclear whether the suspect tried to redeem the chips - which ranged from $100 to $25,000 - before he was arrested. Police spokesman Bill Cassell refused to give further details on the arrest besides saying it happened in Las Vegas.

Bail was set at $15,000 pending a Friday court appearance on felony armed robbery and burglary charges, according to Clark County jail records. Jail records showed Carleo in custody under another name - Anthony M. Assad. It was not immediately clear whether he had a lawyer.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that Carleo is the son of Las Vegas Municipal Court Judge George Assad.

According to police, it took less than three minutes for the robber to pull off the Bellagio heist. The man entered a casino entrance from Flamingo Road, strode fewer than 500 feet to a craps table, brandished the handgun at the 10 to 12 patrons and three or four dealers with chips piled on the green felt, scooped up the loot and ran.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.