Bellagio Chip Bandit a Real “Bozo”: Appears in Court

Written by:
Jagajeet Chiba
Published on:
Feb/08/2011

It looked like one of the most brilliant heists of our time.  On December 14, a man entered the famed Bellagio Casino during the early morning hours wearing only a motorcycle outfit and helmet.  He approached the craps table, managed to grab $1.5 million in chips, then fled the establishment, taking off on his motorcycle, all just under 3 minutes.

Fast forward just under two months and it becomes abundantly clear that accused “mastermind” (and we use the term lightly), Anthony Michael Carleo, was nothing more than an amateur who seemingly did everything possible to get caught.

Among his many blunders:

*Admitted over shots with friends he had just made out big in a casino, taking home close to $100,000.

*Met up with a stranger on a popular online poker forum in an effort to discard of the chips.  He even sent the poster photos of the stolen chips, then exchanged phone numbers.

*Admitted to an undercover police officer he had robbed the establishment.

*Stole chips that had zero value outside the Bellagio since they were coded (or presumed to be).

*Returned to the Bellagio the night of the crime.

Ultimately, his admitting to the heist during the undercover sting operation led to his arrest.

Dave Schwartz, a former casino security officer in Atlantic City who now runs the Center for Gaming Research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, told MSNBC.com it is common for casino thieves to return very soon after in order to cash in the chips.

At the time, Bellagio casino security came under scrutiny for failing to try and apprehend the individual.

"It's not like they're going to chase the guy down in a shootout or do that kind of stuff, but they are going to follow through and eventually lead people to get tripped up," Schwartz said. "You've got to wonder what you can get away with."

The 29-year-old appeared before a judge on Monday and was asked not to make a plea. Another hearing is scheduled for Feb. 23.

Police say that Carleo gambled away hundreds of thousands of dollars since the robbery.  He is the son of Las Vegas Municipal Judge George Assad.

- Jagajeet Chiba, Gambling911.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

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