Four suspected robbers who gambled on being able to steal HK$3.1 million (US$395,000) from a Macau casino and get away with it were arrested less than 24 hours after the crime took place.
The quartet, all from mainland China, were caught on Friday evening and all the money, which was in the form of gaming chips and cash, was recovered.
Two men were arrested by Zhuhai police as they fled the city via the Gongbei control point. While a third man and a woman, were found hiding in a hotel in the Taipa district of the casino hub.
The robbery took place at the Four Seasons Hotel soon after 5.30am on Friday, according to Macau Judiciary Police.
Two robbers stole HK$3.1 million from a Baccarat betting table after using pepper spray to attack a croupier and a security guard.
The police force's acting head of Gaming-related Crimes Division, Chan Chong-in, said one of the suspects had disguised himself as a woman and had inspected the casino before the robbery.
He and an accomplice are alleged to have committed the robbery and then fled in two taxis in a crime that officers said took just three minutes.
"After committing the alleged crime, the pair met with the woman in a fast-food restaurant," Chan said, adding that the pair then fled to Zhuhai.
"She later met with the fourth suspect in another casino in Taipa to make a deal on the gaming chips. We first arrested him, followed her in her hotel room, where we recovered all HK$3.1 million in chips and cash."
The four suspects, aged 20-40, have been charged with robbery, possession of an offensive weapon, and assault.
It was not the first theft of gaming chips at a casino in Macau.
In January last year, a debt-ridden croupier stole HK$48 million worth of chips from a gambling table in the VIP lounge at Wynn Macau.
He instructed a female colleague not to make any noise before running out of the casino and fleeing on a motorcycle.
Two days later, the 49-year-old man and a male relative were arrested in connection with the robbery - one of the largest ever in the city.
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