Two men walked into the Bellagio casino in Las Vegas and sprayed a blackjack dealer with mace as they tried to steal $115,000 in chips, but the entire heist itself was foiled when one was tackled and caught while the other escaped on foot.
For the heist, they wore a wig and sunglasses as they entered the Bellagio last Saturday night, a sight that witnesses claim was right out of the movies.
However, security was tight and one of the men was wrestled to the floor, authorities said.
Their weapon of choice in the botched robbery was a can of mace, which was used as a distraction. That’s when Michael Q. Belton snatched up nearly two dozen high-value chips and took off for the door, according to a police report. The man who sprayed the noxious gas escaped, but Belton was tackled to the floor and held until police arrived.
Belton struggled at first, according to the police arrest report, but then suddenly stopped fighting back against casino employees and surrendered.
He dropped 23 red, white and blue chips, valued at $5,000 each, police said.
“How long am I going away for?” Belton asked detectives during a recorded interview following his arrest, according to the report.
Investigators said Belton, of southern California, told them he needed the money because he is unemployed and his grandparents are ill.
He told police he didn’t know the man who got away. Bolton told investigators he responded to an Internet posting for a job repossessing cars. But he said when he reached Las Vegas, the man who posted the job ad said he wanted him to help another man rob the Bellagio.
Belton was held Monday on $60,000 bail at the Clark County jail pending an initial court appearance Tuesday on felony robbery, conspiracy and burglary charges.
The suspect who got away apparently did not take any chips as he fled. Police said all chips were recovered, and casino officials say they sustained no financial loss.
Authorities said they were still searching for the second man in the heist, which they said was recorded by casino security cameras.
No serious injuries were reported.