In December, news of a man who robbed Bellagio in Las Vegas for $1.5 million worth of high denomination chips caught the gambling world’s attention. That man, Anthony Michael Carleo, has now been apprehended by authorities. Information has come to light that suggests Carleo led quite the interesting lifestyle after robbing Bellagio.
- USA Today reported that Carleo gave a $25,000 chip to a Salvation Army bell-ringer. This was discovered when a Salvation Army bell-ringer tried to cash in the chip and told police a stranger dropped it into his pocket.
- According to Yahoo! News, Carleo lost $105,000 of the stolen chips back to the casino and even stayed there for a week in January enjoying comped rooms and meals.
- The Las Vegas Sun reports that Carleo was caught when he tried to sell the high denomination chips to TwoPlusTwo.com forum members. During the attempted sales, Carleo was brazen enough to put a note saying “Biker Bandit” in an image that verified he did indeed own the chips he was offering up for sale. TwoPlusTwo user “provotrout” helped use the evidence Carleo sent him to lead authorities to him. He was apprehended after selling chips to an undercover officer.
Carleo’s motivation for his crime appears to have been tied to gambling debts owed to the mob. He filed bankruptcy in 2009 claiming to owe $188,000 in debts. The LA times reports that Carleo said to a poker dealer, “man, how easy would it be to rob a casino?” just hours before the crime.
He is being held without bail at the Clark County Detention Center on charges of robbery with the use of a deadly weapon and burglary with use of a deadly weapon.