California man wanted for stealing $1.6 million in chips from Las Vegas casino
Palmdale, CA, United States (4E) – Authorities announced Monday that they are searching for a 31-year-old California man who allegedly entered the restricted area of a Las Vegas casino and took off with $1.6 million in high-value chips.
The Las Vegas police reported that Akingide Cole from Palmdale stole the chips shortly after 6:00 a.m. on October 10, 2012 from the Venetian Casino.
According to Officer Laura Meltzer, Cole is wanted on suspicion of grand larceny, burglary and possession of burglary tools.
Meltzer said that the suspect used no weapons and there were no confrontations with any witnesses or security guards.
The incident was captured by the casino security cameras and investigators used the images to identify Cole because of his distinct appearance.
Cole was described by officials as having a “large fibrous growth” on his left earlobe. He also has a police record in Las Vegas for possession of a controlled substance in 2011.
Jerry Markling, chief of the Nevada Gaming Commission’s enforcement division, claimed that the chances of the suspect cashing in on the theft are slim because high-value chips are typically circulated among a small group of top players known by casinos.
He said that it would be difficult to cash in high-denomination chips because most of the licensees know the players who receive those types of chips.
“Anybody just can’t walk up to a cage window and cash in a $1,000 or $5,000 chip,” Markling added.
It was also explained by Markling that casinos have more than one set of chips that can be used after a theft. 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 light-skinned black man, about 6-feet-tall, weighing 225-pound with a dark goatee and short dark hair in semi-mohawk style.
He was last seen wearing glasses, a grey jacket, black shirt with a green print tie and blue jeans.
Anyone with any information about the crime or the whereabouts of Cole is asked to call the LVMPD Tourist Crimes Unit at 828-3204, or to remain anonymous contact Crime Stoppers by phone at 385-5555.