Man arrested for stealing $14,000 in chips from Lakewood casino

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Gambling Commission agents arrested a man for stealing more than $14,000 in chips from a Lakewood casino and then trying to cash them in.

On Dec. 18, 2019, the suspect pried open a chip tray on a closed gaming table at Macau Casino in Lakewood. He stole $14,050 in gaming chips from the tray and placed them in his pockets. The suspect then attempted to cash in $2,700 worth of chips at the cashier's cage. When the cashier called surveillance to verify the winnings, the suspect became agitated, reached into the cage to grab the chips and left the building.

Gambling Commission agents reviewed surveillance video and provided the suspect's photo to other local casinos and card rooms.

The suspect was later identified by law enforcement as a 37-year-old man from Tacoma.

On Jan. 6, 2020, agents from the Puyallup Tribal Gaming Agency spotted the suspect at the Emerald Queen Casino in Fife. With assistance from the Puyallup Tribal Police Department, Gambling Commission agents arrested the suspect and booked him into the Pierce County Jail. The Pierce County Prosecutor's Office charged him with theft in the first degree.

This case is a great example of collaboration between casino security, Puyallup Tribal police officers and gaming agents, and the Gambling Commission, said Washington State Gambling Commission Director David Trujillo.