Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Man wanted in $1.6-million Las Vegas casino chip heist is arrested

October 31, 2012 | 10:56 am

Akingide ColeA man accused of stealing $1.6 million in chips from a Las Vegas casino was awaiting extradition to Nevada after his arrest near his mother's Southern California home, authorities said.

Las Vegas police confirmed Akingide Cole, 31, was taken into custody Oct. 24 by deputies from San Bernardino and Los Angeles counties. The Palmdale man was wanted on suspicion of grand larceny, burglary and possession of burglary tools in connection with the Oct. 10 theft.

That's when authorities say Cole walked into a restricted area of the Venetian casino and stole $1.6 million in high-value chips.

He didn't use a weapon and didn't come in contact with any witnesses or security guards, Las Vegas Police Officer Laura Meltzer said. But security cameras captured the incident, and investigators used the images to identify Cole as their suspect given his "very distinct" appearance.

Cole has what police described as a "large fibrous growth" on his left earlobe. He was also previously arrested by Las Vegas police in 2011 for possession of a controlled substance, Meltzer said.

A tip "generated by media coverage" led to Cole's arrest, Las Vegas police said.

After Cole was apprehended, Las Vegas detectives went to California and found more than $396,000 worth of the stolen chips. Last week, police said, Venetian security officers found one of the burglary tools inside a gaming parlor room.

Online jail records indicated Cole was still in a Los Angeles County jail Wednesday morning. It was unclear when he would be extradited.


MTA bus crashes into building in downtown L.A.

Boy in neo-Nazi death: Do "people get more than one [life]?"

Huge parade today to celebrate S.F. Giants' World Series win

— Kate Mather

Follow Kate Mather on Twitter or Google+.

Photo: Akingide Cole. Credit: Las Vegas Police Department