Riverside County man charged with trying to steal high-stakes Vegas chips

Michael Belton, 24, accused of trying to steal $115,000 in chips

POSTED: 11:17 AM PDT May 23, 2012 
Michael Belton
LAS VEGAS -

A Riverside County man, who claims he was enlisted through Craigslist to take part in a scheme to steal high-stakes chips from Las Vegas' Bellagio Casino made his first court appearance on Wednesday.

Michael Belton, 24, of Nuevo, Calif., only said he understands he faces felony conspiracy, robbery and burglary charges in the botched Saturday night heist involving $115,000 worth of chips at the Bellagio resort.

A judge set a June 6 evidentiary hearing. Belton remains jailed on $60,000 bail.

Las Vegas police are still looking for the man who placed the ad and a man who escaped after pepper-spraying a blackjack dealer.

Police say Belton grabbed a handful of $5,000 chips but was nabbed by casino  employees.

If convicted, Belton could spend decades in prison.