Suspect in $1.6M Vegas chip heist still on the run

(CBS News) Wednesday, police continued their search for Akingide Cole, the man they believe broke into a restricted area of the Venetian Casino is Las Vegas and made off with $1.6 million in high-denomination chips.

The 31-year-old Palmdale, California native, was caught on casino security cameras and did not use a weapon in the robbery. He is unlikely to be able to cash in his haul however, because the high-value chips are typically circulated only among a small group of wealthy casino clients, making them impossible to redeem without being spotted. Furthermore, the chips could only be redeemed at the casino from where they've been stolen.

According to one of his family friends, Cole has "been looking for work for months and he hasn't been successful with it."

Police name suspet in $1.6M casino chip heist

CBS News senior correspondent John Miller joined "CBS This Morning" to touch on standard casino security procedures in Las Vegas.

Miller explained that there is almost no way Cole could cash in the chips without getting caught.

"There's a limited universe of players [who use the high-value chips] who are very well known to the casinos," Miller said. "When some stranger shows up with a big stack of those it's not like they're not going to know who he is."

He added, "On a much more practical level when they have a theft like that -- like U.S. currency when they counterfeit it, they come out with a new $100 bill -- they come out with a whole new set, different colors of these chips and anti-counterfeiting devices in them and ways to track them...we're deep in knucklehead territory here."

Miller, a former FBI director, also explained that Las Vegas is the wrong place for an inexperienced criminal as Vegas casinos developed many of the sophisticated intelligence and security tactics used in the intelligence community today.

"Las Vegas invented information sharing, invented high-end intelligence sharing, they invented all the technology," he said.

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