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Bellagio robbery suspect told Las Vegas police his family was threatened

A suspect in Saturday’s jewelry store smash-and-grab on the Strip told police he traveled from Mexico City to Las Vegas because his family was being threatened.

Sebastian Gonzalez, 20, was arrested by Las Vegas police after an early morning robbery at the Tesorini high-end jewelry store inside the Bellagio. The Las Vegas Review-Journal obtained a police report on his arrest Tuesday.

Witnesses told police four masked men used sledgehammers to break into the store and smash display cases to steal products. One of the men, who was wearing a “unique large pig mask,” acted as a lookout, records show.

The bandits fled to the resort’s parking garage, threatening a security guard with a gun as they escaped, and scattered after a failed carjacking. The men had left the keys inside the car they had driven there, and a witness — who had an idea what was happening when he saw the men in masks — took them.

Police found Gonzalez trying to hide behind a car in the parking garage. The other suspects had not been apprehended as of Tuesday afternoon.

Gonzalez, a Los Angeles native according to the police report, said people in Mexico threatened to hurt his family if he did not follow their instructions.

So he rode in a truck across the border into Arizona and then to Las Vegas, where he received a fake ID. He said he was told to get two hotel rooms at different properties and then to meet with the other men.

He told police the men were given fake guns and masks, and he was given a cellphone with an earpiece through which he received further instructions: Steal expensive watches that could be sold in Mexico for up to $2 million, records show.

He said they made him wear the pig mask “because he was fat,” the report said.

After the crime, the men were supposed to stop at one of the hotel rooms and remove any tracking devices from the jewelry. They were then supposed to board a bus to San Diego or Tijuana, Mexico, records show.

Contact Wesley Juhl at wjuhl@reviewjournal.com and 702-383-0391. Follow @WesJuhl on Twitter.

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