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Bellagio Heist Goes Haywire

bellagio fountains in las vegas 1

The Bellagio casino in Las Vegas was the target of another attempted heist over the weekend, with the bungling thieves attempting to snatch and run off with $115,000 in casino chips but security intervening to catch one of the two bandits.

The Bellagio casino in Las Vegas was the target of another attempted heist over the weekend, with the bungling thieves attempting to snatch and run off with $115,000 in casino chips but security intervening to catch one of the two bandits.

The two men approached a blackjack dealer at the Bellagio on Saturday night and while one sprayed him in the face with an eye-burning chemical the other (who was wearing a fake wig and sunglasses) grabbed a few handfuls of $5,000 chips and bolted for the door -- not exactly an Oceans 11 style well-orchestrated heist.

Security managed to grab the wigged bandit before he could escape (who was later identified as Michael Belton) although his accomplice managed to get away in the mayhem that followed.

Belton lives in California and told police later that he was unemployed and needed the money to pay for care for his ill grandparents. He claimed to not know the identity of his accomplice, who Belton met when responding to an Internet posting offering a job in Vegas repossessing cars.

Belton showed up in Vegas expecting to be employed as a repo man but discovered that the real gig his would-be employer had in mind was robbing chips from the Bellagio. Belton is being held on $60,000 bail on charges of felony robbery, conspiracy, and burglary.

The two weren't quite as successful as the last person to attempt to rob the Bellagio in dramatic fashion, with the motorcycle bandit actually escaping with $1.5 million in chips when he stole the chips at gunpoint and made off on a motorcycle he'd left at the valet, getting in and out in less than three minutes.

His actual heist was planned out with a little more forethought but his undoing was trying to cash in on the chips, as he was eventually caught in an undercover sting when he tried to find people online willing to buy $25,000 chips at a substantial discount.

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