At least three casino arcades across Lee County were targeted in a crime spree that included robberies and grand thefts on Thursday.
According to Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers, the Cape Coral Police Department, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office and the Fort Myers Police Department are investigating similar cases “which are believed to be related.”
Cape Coral police were called to the White Sands Arcade in the 2700 block of Del Prado Boulevard S. on Tuesday morning.
In that case, two men wearing masks and entered the store, holding an employee at gunpoint. The two got away with an undisclosed amount of money.
“I was shocked because I come here every day for my lunchbreak and stuff. I was just about to go in. The police stopped me,” said Mary Williams from Cape Coral.
The Lee County Sheriff’s Office also investigating a similar incident at the Lucky Turtle Arcade at 4150 Hancock in North Fort Myers.
Witnesses inside the Lucky Turtle Arcade said someone with a gun put it to the head of a woman and demanded that she open the safe.
“I was sitting at the first chair inside the door and playing and within five minutes the lady, the blonde lady, that I guess runs it, came running out, told me that she just got robbed,” said Tommy Ingraham. “I should have seen something; I didn’t see nothing. So I mean they kind of know what they’re doing, evidently.”
And in Fort Myers, Arcade Black Horse on US-41, just north of Winkler Avenue, was also robbed, police said. The call for this location came in at 1:14 p.m.
An employee of Arcade Black Horse saw one of the suspects with a gun, but the suspects were not able to get any cash.
“It could have been a string. It seems likely now that if there’s three being hit and they’re all just ever so slightly a few minutes apart, maybe. It just seems likely,” said Chris from Fort Myers.
A Fort Myers police officer told WINK News that the Lee County Sheriff’s Office was meeting them on the scene to see if the North Fort Myers incident was connected.
Fort Myers Police are on scene of an armed robbery investigation at 3900 Cleveland Avenue. Please avoid the area. We will update further as we gather information. pic.twitter.com/usnfEVjWDr
— Fort Myers Police (@fortmyerspolice) July 7, 2022
In addition to the Thursday crime spree, Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers reported a robbery at a casino arcade in Iona on Wednesday night.
In that incident, two men were seen in security footage entering The Vegas Experience, at 16120 San Carlos Blvd., at around 7:30 p.m. and playing various gambling machines for several hours.
At around 11:30 p.m., they were seen sitting at the “Monster King of Under Water” machine and they managed to discretely open the lockboxes and remove a significant amount of money before leaving, Crime Stoppers said.
SWFL Crime Stoppers Coordinator Trish Routte said the suspects got away with about $18,000.