Stupid (Alleged) Criminals

Worst Heist Ever: Mike Belton Arrested at Bellagio After Craigslist Accomplice Pepper-Sprays Blackjack Dealer

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Wed, May 23, 2012 at 9:05 AM
click to enlarge An actual photo from Mike Belton's MySpace.
  • An actual photo from Mike Belton's MySpace.

In the history of retarded Vegas heists, this one takes the special gold star.

Michael Belton, a 24-year-old Riverside County resident whose MySpace is riddled with online poker and mobster apps, tells Las Vegas Metropolitan police that some guy named Carlos Rodriguez recruited him via Craigslist to stick up a blackjack dealer at the Bellagio last Saturday -- and the Las Vegas Sun got a hold of the hilarious interrogation.

Belton claims that he and another dude named Carlos were instructed to walk into the Bellagio, armed only in pepper spray. The plan was to stealthily approach a blackjack table, scoop up as many poker chips as possible and get the hell out of there -- then cackle over the fruits of their heist when Rodriguez, a self-described "high roller," exchanged the chips for cash money.

click to enlarge LVMPD

But unfortunately, this Oceans Fourteen fantasy was cast with the Three Stooges in wigs and sunglasses. Richard Hauck, an unlucky patron at their blackjack table of target, describes the chaotic scene to the Sun:

At first, Hauck said he and his wife assumed the situation was an elaborate prank involving a malfunctioning squirt gun.

"The guy kept spraying and the thing wouldn't work," said Hauck, who's visiting from Gates Mills, Ohio. "The spray kept falling on the table."

Belton's accomplice did (allegedly) get the pepper spray to discharge after the brief malfunction, allowing Belton to (allegedly) make off with 23 chips worth $5,000 each.

Which also didn't last very long.

A casino floor supervisor saw the robbery attempt and grabbed Belton. The two wrestled until casino security officers arrived to help, the report said.

Belton eventually surrendered, and authorities confiscated all 23 stolen chips -- valued at $115,000, police said.

Belton reportedly lives in Nuevo, a nowhere desert town -- no, not even town, but "census-designated place" -- in the butt crack of Riverside County. Somehow, his big dreams for Vegas glory turned bumpkin banana-peel moment outdo even those of 18-year-old Ventura County resident Zachary Jackson, who was arrested last summer for threatening to blow up the entire Strip in exchange for ransom money. (Really.)

Of the three men believed to be involved in last Saturday's little incident, only Belton has been arrested, according to reports.

The 24-year-old's interests on MySpace include "4x4, the river, chillin with friends u know shit like that." His heroes are listed as "me, me, and i think..... me."

[@simone_electra / swilson@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]

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