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Man stole $1.6 million in chips from Las Vegas casino, police say

October 23, 2012 |  7:24 am

Akingide ColeAuthorities believe a Palmdale man stole $1.6 million in high-value chips from the Venetian casino in Las Vegas.

Casino security cameras captured the incident, in which the suspect got into a restricted area of the casino.

The suspect, identified as Akingide Cole, 31, right, 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 a 6-foot, 225-pound black man with a goatee and short dark hair styled in a "semi-mohawk."


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Photo: Akingide Cole. Credit: Las Vegas Police Department