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2 arrested in Vegas casino heist of $32K in chips - Forbes

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Police searched Friday for a man suspected of donning a fedora, fake mustache and sunglasses in a stickup that netted $32,000 in chips from a Las Vega casino.

It was the second grab-and-run heist in Sin City in two months. In December,

a bandit snatched $1.5 million in chips from a craps table at the Bellagio casino then fled on a motorcycle.

Police do not believe the holdups were connected or were linked to organized crime.

Police said Steven Gao, 45, took a taxi to the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino on Thursday then grabbed the chips from a Pai Gow poker table. He also pointed a gun at a card dealer who tried to stop him before escaping in the same cab, robbery Lt. Ray Steiber said.

Police arrested cab driver Hiroyuki Yamaguchi, 61, within hours of the robbery.

"He had knowledge of what was to occur," Steiber said.

Also taken into custody was Edward Land, 41, who police say met with Gao at another casino after the robbery and received $18,000 in stolen chips.

Yamaguchi and Land were being held in the Clark County jail for investigation of robbery, burglary and conspiracy. Bail for each was set at $25,000.

A casino official familiar with the facts of the Rio robbery described the bandit's appearance and told The Associated Press he made off with about $21,000 in $1,000 chips. The rest of the chips stolen were in denominations of $500, $100 and $25.

The robbery came after the stickup at the Bellagio hotel-casino on the Las Vegas Strip.

Police have arrested Anthony Carleo, 29, the son of a Las Vegas judge, in connection with that robbery. He has not yet entered a plea and remained in Clark County jail with bail set at $1 million.

The Rio is owned by Caesars Entertainment, the world's largest gambling company by revenue, and is home to the annual World Series of Poker.

The Bellagio robbery involved chips mostly worth $25,000 - a denomination unusual for most gamblers to possess. Chips worth $1,000 or less are far more common in Nevada casinos, making them tougher to track.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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