Las Vegas Rio robbery latest in string of bold heists

AS VEGAS -- The Rio on 3700 West Flamingo was robbed in the early morning hours Thursday morning by an armed man that arrived and fled the scene in a taxi. The robbery did not involve cash but it did involve $32,000 dollars in chips from a table game just outside the Rio's All American Bar & Grill.

According to the Las Vegas Sun, the dealer on the dead table game slapped the robbery suspects hand when he first reached across the table and into the chip rack. The suspect then brandished a gun and proceeded to reach into the rack grabbing $21,000 in yellow $1,000 chips and $11,000 dollars in purple $500 chips, black $100 chips and green $25 chips.

The suspect, disguised with a fedora and fake mustache, arrived to the Rio in a taxi cab and after he nabbed the $32,000 in chips he escaped into a taxi as well. Channel 8 News reported Thursday morning that the suspect's taxi ride ended at the Terrible's Casino on Flamingo Road and Paradise.

The robbery at the Rio is the latest in a series of casino robberies involving chips. Anthony Carleo, the son of Las Vegas judge George Assad, was arrested in connection with two brazen robberies of Las Vegas casinos. According to the Las Vegas Sun, Carleo was apprehended due to his boastfulness and openness.

A casino dealer came forward and detailed several conversations with Carleo in regards to robbing a casino. Carleo allegedly first robbed the Sun Coast Casino poker room. The Sun Coast poker room is located near a side door with easy access to escape down a main road (Rampart) and an expressway (Summerlin Parkway).

The robbery of the Bellagio Casino was much more brazen. The suspect walked in a side door and made his way to the closest table games pit with open games. He then robbed the casino of their high denomination chips up to $25,000. The total take of the heist was $1.5 million in casino chips.

The suspect, decked out with a motorcycle helmet, wound his way through the casino to the pit and the exited without being confronted by any security. Carleo was apprehended after he attempted to move over $900,000 dollars in Bellagio chips through a person he believed would help him fence the stolen chips.

Over the past decade Las Vegas casinos have been focusing on preventing strong arm robberies of the casino cage. Some casinos have gone as far as installing bullet proof glass to dissuade anyone from robbing the casino.

Casinos have cut back drastically on the security and the recent incidents in Las Vegas casinos have shown that casinos must weigh their options when making cuts regarding security and staffing in the casino table games department. In all three table games robberies a lack of supervision and security were contributing factors.