Crown Casino loses $100,000 chip - Tuesday 27th of May 2008

A BRAZEN thief who swiped a $100,000 gaming chip from a highly secure area within Melbournes Crown Casino appears to have beaten the house.

Despite interviews with more than 50 casino staff and a review of hours of security footage, police can find no trace of the missing loot.

Victoria Police believe the Crown Casino theft was the work of a single light-fingered crook - likely a staffer.

A police source told the Sunday Herald Sun the thief stole the single $100,000 chip from a cupboard in the counting area - one of the most secure sections within the casino complex.

About 80 people have access to the main counting room. Dozens of people were interviewed in an effort to trace the missing chip.

Details of the heist came to light in Freedom of Information documents obtained by the Sunday Herald Sun from Victoria Police.

The theft was reported to police in January 2006 and remains unsolved.

Casino spokesman Gary ONeill confirmed yesterday the house was down $100,000.

"It is an on going investigation by police, we will leave it up to them," Mr ONeill said.

"We are co-operating and continue to co-operate with the police. It is a police investigation, which is still open."

A source told the Sunday Herald Sun the casinos security cameras had been upgraded since the theft.

"The existing cameras didnt capture anything. A couple of the cameras passed over the floor (where the theft happened) but they didnt show anything," the source said.

"Obviously it was someone on the inside.

"But short of anyone coming forward, the police dont have anything to solve it.

"It appears to have been an isolated incident."

It is believed the casino waited several months and conducted its own investigation before calling in police.

The police report sheet says there were signs of a "forced or broken door" and physical force had been used.

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