- (Photo: REUTERS/Tim Shaffer)
Police in Las Vegas have identified a suspect wanted in connection with a casino robbery that took place in the beginning of October.
Authorities have identified Akingide Cole of Palmdale, Calif., as a suspect who is thought to have gained access to a restricted area of the Venetian resort earlier this month and stole $1.6 million in high-denomination casino chips.
Cole, 31, is wanted on suspicion of burglary, grand larceny, and unlawful possession of burglary tools stemming from the heist at the Las Vegas Strip resort, police said Monday.
The suspect will have a difficult time getting the full cash value of the chips because hotels keep a close eye on high-denomination chips and usually know which high-rollers have or will use those types of chips. Hotels typically rotate those types of chips to prevent any type of theft.
"In any of these thefts of chips, it's very difficult to cash these in," Jerry Markling, Nevada Gaming Control Board Chief of Enforcement, told AP. "Licensees generally know who their customers are."
The casino has a specific internal protocol that flags the largest denomination chips and verifies what individual possesses them. Officials with the casino said that should the suspect wish to redeem the smaller value chips, he would only get around $10,000, Ron Reese, spokesman for The Venetian's parent company Las Vegas Sands, said in a statement.
Police have not released information regarding how the suspect gained entry into the restricted area nor did they reveal how the heist was carried out.
Police did state that no weapon was involved and that no hotel employee or personnel was confronted during the robbery. Police have not ruled out that the robbery suspect had help from an employee or from someone with knowledge of hotel operations.
Authorities indicated that the robbery took place around 6 a.m. on Oct. 10.