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Metro Police Warns Visitors to Look for Thieves

LAS VEGAS -- Metro Police are working hard to ensure a visit to Las Vegas is a safe one, reminding visitors to pay close attention to their personal belongings.

On the Las Vegas Strip, tourists from all over the country take in the bright lights. They bring big bags and purses filled with personal items.

Metro says thieves are looking for easy victims - targeting unwatched bags, wallets, purses and/or phones.

Sgt. Jerry McDonald heads up Metro's Tourist Safety Detail. He says Strip crimes are decreasing, but it's up to visitors to help police keep that trend going.

"The biggest thing to let the tourists know is to pay attention. Pay attention to your surroundings, especially at night." McDonald said. "(At) LVMPD, we just want people to be a little bit more cognizant of what's going on around them, and they'll be fine here."

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Crime on the Las Vegas Strip Trending Down

Crime on the Las Vegas Strip Trending Down

 

An expert in safety on the Las Vegas Strip says crime in the area is on a downward trend which Metro Police is working to maintain.

Sergeant Jerry McDonald with Metro's Tourist Safety Detail brought that message to a group of tourism professionals Wednesday morning at a Destination Services Association meeting.

McDonald told the group that crime in the resort corridor is going down. According to McDonald there has been a slight uptick in hotel room burglaries, but he says officers are working to control the problem.

He points to a special initiative for the drop in crime along the important street.

"It is an initiative called Safe Strip. It is more patrols, uniformed presence on the Strip typically from the swing shift and during the grave yard hours," Sgt. McDonald said.

He also credits the efforts made by Clark County to put more ordinances, targeting safety on Strip, into place.

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Physical Clue Led to Police to Venetian Theft Arrest

LAS VEGAS -- Metro Police said it has solved a $1.6 million theft at the Venetian Casino.

It's the third high-profiled heist on the Las Vegas Strip in almost two years.

31-year-old Akingide Cole walked into the Venetian about 5:30 a.m. Oct. 10 and within minutes walked out with $1.6 million in casino chips.

Now, Cole is facing decades in prison.

George Joseph of Worldwide Casino Consulting is a gaming expert on cheats and criminals who try all sorts of tricks to steal from casinos.

"Another entry into the world's dumbest criminal category," Joseph said. "Why in the hell would you ever come to a place to commit a crime and all you have to do is look up at the ceiling and see a camera every four inches?"

Police described Cole as low key, slipping into an empty blackjack room.

Arrest Made in Venetian Casino Chip Theft

Akingide Cole is from Palmdale, California.

LAS VEGAS -- Metro Police have arrested a California man in connection with the theft of chips from the Venetian Casino.

Akingide King Cole, 31, was arrested last week near his mother's residence in Southern California. Police say they were tipped to Cole's whereabouts after media coverage of the theft. Police said Cole gained access to a closed area of the casino where he stole the chips.

Cole is facing charges of burglary, grand larceny and possession of burglary tools.

Detectives traveled to Southern California where they recovered chips valued at $396,000. The total value of the chips taken during the theft was more than $1.6 million.