Suspected Gunman in Brazen Bellagio Casino Heist Returned to Scene, Cops Say

Anthony Carleo, son of a judge, accused of stealing $1.5 million in chips.

February 3, 2011, 10:54 AM

Feb. 3, 2010— -- Las Vegas police have arrested a suspect in a brazen casino heist, in which a man wearing a motorcycle helmet stole $1.5 million in chips at gunpoint from a craps table at the Bellagio Hotel in December.

Anthony Carleo, 29, was arrested Wednesday night on charges of robbery and burglary with a deadly weapon according to the Las Vegas Metro Police.

Carleo allegedly returned to the scene of the heist several times before being arrested, police say, according to The Associated Press.

He was arrested after meeting with undercover officers allegedly to sell the chips stolen in the heist.

Police initially said he would be charged with drug trafficking after they discovered narcotics while making the arrest, but later dropped the charge.

Police said he surrendered without incident.

Carleo is the son of Las Vegas Municipal Court Judge George Assad, according to public records.

Calls to Assad's home seeking comment were not returned.

He was arrested at a room in the Bellagio, staying as a guest in the very hotel he is accused of robbing, the paper reported. Police also executed a search warrant of the judge's home.

"We were pleased to be able to assist and support Metro detectives in developing their case and ultimately apprehending a suspect," the casino said in a statement today. "We will continue to provide whatever support needed for a successful prosecution."

In the wake of the robbery, the casino discontinued use of the $25,000 chips, some of which Carleo allegedly stole. Customers have until April 22 to redeem the chips before they become worthless.

The Dec. 14 robbery at one of the strip's most famous casinos took place at just after 5 a.m., when a suspect dressed in black and wearing a helmet covering his face parked his motorcycle outside the casino and walked straight to the craps tables while brandishing a gun.

The robbery took less than three minutes, police said, before the gunman ran out of the casino and fled on his bike.

Carleo is being held on $15,000 bail, according to a search of the Clark County Detention Center's digital records, and will likely appear in court Friday.

Two Robberies Might Be Related

Days before the Bellagio heist, a gunman wearing a motorcycle helmet and carrying a pistol robbed the poker room cashier at the Las Vegas Suncoast Casino, netting almost $20,000 in chips.

Police said at the time they believed the incidents were linked but there has been no word on whether Carleo will be charged for that crime as well.

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