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Botched Bellagio casino robbery leads to California man's arrest

May 23, 2012 |  8:34 am

Bellagio Hotel

As often happens in Las Vegas, a California man didn't quite play his cards right at the casino.

Michael Quinn Belton, 24, of Nuevo in Riverside County, was arrested by Las Vegas police Saturday night on suspicion of taking part in a botched robbery at the Bellagio, according to an arrest report obtained by the Las Vegas Sun.

The report says Belton and an unknown accomplice walked up to a $100-minimum blackjack table armed with pepper spray and wearing wigs and sunglasses. As the accomplice pointed the spray container at the dealer and a player, Belton grabbed 23 chips worth a total of $115,000, authorities say.

But that's about as far as the two got. Witnesses told the Sun the pepper spray didn't work at first, and a casino floor supervisor managed to tackle Belton before he made it out the door, according to authorities.

Belton later told police he and the accomplice were recruited by a third man via Craigslist. The man originally posted an ad about a job repossessing cars, but after Belton met him in Las Vegas, the man laid out his plans to rob the Bellagio and asked for Belton's help.

Belton told police he agreed because he is unemployed and his grandparents are ill.

He was booked at the Clark County Detention Center on charges of robbery, burglary and conspiracy to commit robbery. Neither of the other two men allegedly involved were in custody, the newspaper said.

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— Kate Mather

twitter.com/katemather

Photo: The Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

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