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September 18, 2014

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Arrest announced in million-dollar chip heist from Venetian

Media reports lead to tip of fugitive’s whereabouts in California

Akingide Cole

Akingide Cole

California law enforcement officers have arrested a man suspected of stealing more than $1.6 million in high-denomination gaming chips earlier this month from the Venetian casino, Metro Police announced Tuesday.

Media coverage of the theft led to a tip that helped authorities locate Akingide Cole, a 31-year-old from Palmdale, Calif., Metro Police said. Sheriff’s officers from San Bernardino County and Los Angeles County arrested Cole on Wednesday near his mother’s home in Southern California.

Cole was arrested on fugitive warrants charging him with grand larceny, burglary and possession of burglary tools.

Detectives from Metro’s tourist crimes unit traveled to interview Cole and were able to recover about $396,000 in chips. They are in the process of searching for the remainder of the stolen property, said Laura Meltzer, Metro spokeswoman.

The theft occurred shortly after 6 a.m. Oct. 10 from an area where the chips were kept, off the casino floor, police said.

Cole has not yet been extradited to Nevada, police said.

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  1. I know that taking something that's not yours is a criminal offence but... He didn't take anything of value the chips are worthless until cashed, Furthermore this type of chip is tracked, You have to show where it came from how you acquired it. It's also my understanding that the casino chip has a tracking chip inside of it. Or I have been told wrong but would like to know if that's true or not. Please advise

  2. I've heard that some larger-denomination chips have radio-frequency tags in them to allow them to be tracked, much as pallets of goods do when shipped. Which ones they are, or which casinos use them, are not known to me.

    It would be quite effective to have a backup chip design that could be used to replace the stolen denomination chips, and the old chips destroyed. It wouldn't take more than a couple of hours to change out all of the chips in all of the trays. Some chips are replaced from time to time due to excessive wear, but they can be replaced with the regular design. If someone took a chip home as a souvenir or by mistake, they can be given six months to redeem the old chips after the chips are replaced.