Akingide Cole, wanted in connection with a $1.6 million dollar theft of casino chips from the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, has been arrested in Southern California. The Las Vegas police said they have been informed that the suspect is in custody, and extradition hearings will be underway shortly. Police say that massive media exposure lead to the arrest of Cole.
Police deputies from San Bernardino and Los Angeles County took Cole into custody outside his mother’s home. He is being charged with grand larceny, burglary, and possession of burglary tools.
Although police are not disclosing many details, what is known is that Cole allegedly snuck into a restricted area at the Venetian and stole the chips on October 10. It is unclear how he planned on cashing them in. The high value chips are usually only circulated among a small select group of high rollers said Nevada Gaming Control Board Chief of Enforcement Jerry Markling.
Officer Laura Meltzer of the Las Vegas Police said they have recovered almost $400,000 worth of the chips and are tracking the others.
The casinos have a protocol for when a sum of chips is stolen. They put a new colored set of chips into circulation so anyone playing with the stolen chips will stand out.
There have been two other high profile thefts in Las Vegas recently. In May, two men wearing wigs walked up to a blackjack dealer and pepper sprayed him. Then they grabbed $115,000 worth of chips. One was tackled by a security officer, and the chips were recovered.
The second heist at the Bellagio saw a man in a motorcycle helmet stick up a dealer with a gun and make off with $1.5 million in high value chips. He was arrested when he tried to redeem one of the $25,000 chips.