Bellagio Robbery Involved Pepper Spray, Poor Planning
Bellagio robbery perpetrated by two would-be criminals came to a screeching halt over the weekend after hotel employees nabbed the duo before their plan could properly unfold. When you’re attempting to rip off one of the biggest casinos in Las Vegas, chances are you’re going to need something a bit more elaborate than a pepper spray snatch-and-grab scheme. Hasn’t big-budget Hollywood motion pictures taught us anything?
Calling this heist daring would be an insult to, well, daring heists. Two men, one of whom was 24 year-old Michael Belton, attempted to make a little money by stealing stacks of casino chips from the Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Their plan was simple: Melton would grab as many $5,000 chips as he could while his cohort sprayed the dealer with pepper spray. However, as their nefarious plot exploded into action, Belton was grabbed by two employees and wrestled to the ground. Onlookers snapped photos as the inept thief was subdued.
All of this nonsense sounds like the plot to a Wes Anderson comedy.
UNLV Center for Gaming Research director David Schwartz explained the inherent stupidity of the plan. “If you’re doing this with chips, you’re always going to have to get those chips back to the casino, and there’s really only one place where you can cash them in – which is a casino. So, that’s usually what prevents most of these from working.”
Belton confessed everything to the police, claiming the only reason he agreed to participate in the robbery was due to his grandmother’s poor health. The failed thief also revealed that he was recruited into this low-rent operation by a man named Carlos Rodriguez, who Belton met via Craiglist after responding to a car repossession job posted on the site. As of this writing, police have yet to locate the mastermind.