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Mike Blasky

Armed man fails in robbery attempt at Stratosphere

22 April 2011

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- The Bellagio bandit, this was not.

Las Vegas police are looking for an armed man who attempted to rob the Stratosphere Casino Hotel and Tower poker room Wednesday morning but who got away with nothing.

Lt. Ray Steiber, who oversees the Metropolitan Police Department's Robbery Section, said the man was wearing a hooded sweatshirt and brandishing a handgun when he entered the casino's poker room and jumped a cashier counter, looking for money or chips.

"When he realized he was not getting any money, he fled," Steiber said. "There was nothing there for him to grab."

Police said the suspect is in his early 20s. He was described as being about 5 feet 10 inches and 160 pounds. A vehicle description was not available.

There were no shots fired and no injuries reported.

This was the fourth casino robbery in the past four months.

In December, a gunman made off with $1.5 million in chips from the Bellagio. Anthony Carleo, the son of Municipal Court Judge George Assad, was arrested after attempting to sell some of the high-value chips to an undercover officer.

Carleo was also suspected in a similar robbery of the Suncoast casino poker room several days before the Bellagio heist. It's unclear if he's been charged for that crime.

In February, two men were arrested as accomplices in a casino chip robbery at the Rio. Police are still searching for Steven Gao, the reported masked gunman in that incident.