Southern California -- this just in

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

Man allegedly stole $1.6 million in casino chips without weapon

October 23, 2012 | 12:19 pm

Akingide ColeA Palmdale man suspected of stealing $1.6 million in chips from the Venetian casino in Las Vegas managed to do so without alerting security officials and without a weapon, authorities said.

The man found his way into a restricted part of the casino, where he grabbed the chips, police say.

Casino security cameras captured the incident, but the suspect was able to get out of the casino before security noticed.

The suspect, identified as Akingide Cole, 31, took the chips just after 6 a.m. on Oct. 10, authorities said. He's now wanted on suspicion of grand larceny, burglary and possession of burglary tools, Officer Laura Meltzer said.

Cole didn't use a weapon in the incident and didn't come in contact with any witnesses or security guards, Meltzer said.

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

The chances of the suspect cashing in on the theft are slim, said Jerry Markling, chief of the Nevada Gaming Commission's enforcement division. High-value chips are typically circulated among a small group of top players known by casinos.

"It'd be fairly difficult to cash in high-denomination chips simply because most of the licensees know who their players are who receive those types of chips," he said. "Anybody just can't walk up to a cage window and cash in a $1,000 or $5,000 chip."

Casinos also have more than one set of chips that can be used after a theft, Markling said. If someone tried to play with a different-styled chip, he would stand out, making it "that much more difficult" for thieves.

Police described Cole as 6 feet tall, weighing 225 pounds with a goatee and short dark hair styled in a "semi-mohawk."


'Hangover 3' filming: Warner Bros. thanks O.C. for patience

No motive in firebomb attack on man, Long Beach police say

Bumble Bee releases more details of worker's pressure cooker death

— Kate Mather

Follow Kate Mather on Twitter or Google+.

Photo: Akingide Cole. Credit: Las Vegas Police Department