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September 20, 2014

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Bellagio robber spent stolen cash on prostitutes, hotel room, police say

Image

Christopher DeVargas

An exterior view of the Bellagio, June 6, 2013.

Updated Monday, July 28, 2014 | 9 p.m.

Metro Police said the suspect they arrested in Friday’s robbery at the Bellagio scored up to $45,000 in cash and proceeded to celebrate with a wild night on the town.

The suspect, who is being referred to as John Doe until authorities can confirm his identity, was arrested after officers responded about 11:30 p.m. Saturday to reports of a suspicious man who checked in to the Hard Rock Hotel, police said.

A tourist had informed police that a man paid him $300 to rent a room — and an additional $405 for the actual room — at the hotel. The man claimed to not have any identification, police said.

Police were able to confirm the suspect's location in the hotel through surveillance video.

He was wearing the same shirt he had worn to commit the robbery, and he had several prostitutes with him in his room, police said.

Four of the women were detained as they fled the suspect's room, carrying more than $7,000 in cash that the suspect had paid them, police said.

Some of the money was wrapped in bands with the word "Bellagio" on it, police said.

The prostitutes said the suspect took them shopping at the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace.

A search warrant executed on the Hard Rock room revealed, among other things, $10,000, a 6 mm BB gun with an orange tip, and a small black backpack identical to the one used in the robbery, police said.

In an interview with officers, the suspect demonstrated erratic behavior but denied being under the influence of drugs or alcohol, police said.

He would laugh inappropriately and could not recall his address or telephone number, police said.

He claimed to have come across the backpack full of money in a casino parking lot.

Police were able to connect the suspect to the Bellagio robbery and another at a City National Bank through surveillance footage.

In both cases, the suspect had forced an employee to fill a black backpack with money while he pointed a handgun with an orange tip at them, police said.

The Bellagio employee who was robbed estimates giving the suspect $35,000 to $45,000.

The suspect is being held at the Clark County Detention Center, where he was booked on counts of robbery with use of a deadly weapon, burglary with use of a deadly weapon ​and grand larceny.

Police initially identified Jesse Jones, 32, as a person of interest in the case.

Jones was not the person who was arrested and is no longer considered a person of interest, police said. Police did not say why they were seeking information about Jones.

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