There's a sense of déjà vu about reports in US publications Thursday that the Rio land casino in Las Vegas - famous as the venue for the World Series of Poker - was hit in the early hours of the morning by a taxi-borne robber. Police were still searching for an armed man who walked in, grabbed gambling chips from a gaming table and left in a taxi, evoking memories of the recent motorcycle robbery at the Bellagio.
The Rio attack occurred at 4.40am, said police spokesperson Lt. Barbara Schmidt, who disclosed that initially a dealer had attempted to defend the chips, but desisted when the robber produced a hand gun.
Investigators are currently checking casino surveillance videos for useful footage.
Meanwhile, the alleged Bellagio robber, 29-year-old Anthony Carleo appeared in a three hour preliminary hearing in a Las Vegas court, and was remanded on bail of a million dollars on condition that even if he raises bail Carleo must remain under house arrest.
Earlier, the judge accepted an amended criminal complaint that added two counts of robbery with a deadly weapon to the case against Carleo, who was already facing charges of armed robbery, assault, burglary and carrying a concealed weapon. He set the March 9 as a date for a court review of progress on the case.
Prosecutor Chris Owens and defence lawyer William Terry crossed verbal swords over whether the defence should have permission to talk to a confidential police informant who was allegedly present at several meetings between the defendant and an undercover police officer.
The prosecution called four witnesses during the hearing, one of them an undercover police officer who bought 14 of the high value chips - worth $350,000 - from Carleo. A casino employee also gave evidence on the December robbery, along with a valet supervisor and a security guard.
A surveillance video from the Bellagio was also presented to the court, showing the crash- helmeted robber repeatedly grabbing chips from the middle of a rack at the craps table.
Arrest records show Carleo gambled heavily with his ill-gotten gains, losing around $105,000 in eighteen separate sessions. The records also claim that evidence is available to show that Carleo attempted to sell some of the chips over the Internet through the popular twoplustwo poker forum.
Source: InfoPowa News