PD: Bystander thwarted planned escape for masked Bellagio bandit - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

PD: Bystander thwarted planned escape for masked Bellagio bandits

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Sebastian Gonzalez (Source: LVMPD) Sebastian Gonzalez (Source: LVMPD)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

Police say a bystander who saw an unoccupied vehicle parked next to an entry at the Bellagio hotel-casino helped thwart a planned getaway for a group of masked burglars.

An arrest report stated the bystander was in the parking garage of the Las Vegas Strip resort early Saturday when he saw a white Nissan Maxima parked in a "suspicious manner." Feeling that a crime was being committed, the man took the key out of the running vehicle's ignition and stood by to watch four masked people come out to it. A security officer approached the vehicle, but the driver stepped out and threatened the person with a gun.

After being unable to drive off, the individuals scrambled out of the vehicle, police said.

The act was in connection to the reported smash-and-grab burglary that took place at a luxury watch store inside the Bellagio on March 25. Multiple photos and video from inside the resort depicted at least one burglar in a pig mask standing watch outside.

Police said the pig-masked suspect was 20-year-old Sebastian Gonzalez, who was taken into custody when officers found him hiding behind a vehicle in the garage. Three other masked assailants were able to get away and remained at large, as of Wednesday.

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According to Gonzalez's arrest report, he told police that he arrived in the U.S. from Mexico on a truck not too long before the burglary. He claimed people back in his country were threatening to hurt his family if he didn't follow their instructions.

He said he was instructed to head to Las Vegas with fake identification, book two hotel rooms off the Strip and to meet with another Hispanic male behind the Smith and Wollensky steakhouse on Las Vegas Boulevard. Police stated he met two additional men who provided him a change of clothes, a fake gun, and a mask.

Gonzalez told police he was given a pig mask because "he was fat."

Right after wiping the vehicle down with bleach wipes, Gonzalez stated the group was instructed to take high-value watches from the Tesorini store inside the Bellagio. He told police the items would be later sold in Mexico for up to $2 million.

Once inside the Bellagio, police said Gonzalez was the lookout for the others, who smashed glass cases and took the items inside. When they tried to make their escape in the Nissan Maxima, Gonzalez said he believe someone forgot the keys, thwarting their getaway momentarily.

Gonzalez said they tried to carjack another vehicle, which was able to speed out of the garage, the arrest report read.

At that point, the arrest report states the group scattered individually. Witnesses in the garage were able to see Gonzalez removing his mask and clothes. They directed police to him. He stated he hid behind a vehicle because "he didn't want to run anymore."

Gonzalez stated the plan after their escape from the garage was to make it back to the hotel and cut off any GPS trackers on the merchandise. He was supposed to later board a bus to San Diego or Tijuana, police stated.

The arrest report said the other burglars ran off on foot heading to the Planet Hollywood hotel-casino. Two of the remaining burglars were sporting panda and white cat masks.

Gonzalez was booked into Clark County Detention Center on counts of robbery with a deadly weapon, burglary while possession of a gun, conspiracy to commit robbery and attempted robbery.

Gonzalez appeared in Las Vegas Justice Court on Wednesday. He was ordered back on April 11 for a preliminary hearing, which bail is expected to be considered. 

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