At least one casino robbery may be related to a string of holdups in the Sioux Falls, South Dakota area, local police say.
Authorities suspect the Wednesday night armed robbery of Jokerz Casino is connected to the hold-ups of two gas stations, television station KSFY reported. One was a robbery of a Get-N-Go two hours after the casino heist. Another was the robbery of another Get-N-Go on Monday night.
The suspect in the Jokerz heist was described as black and about 5 feet 3 inches tall, KSFY said. He has a medium build and displayed a gun.
Same Bandit Suspected in Trio of Crimes
Police reviewed surveillance videos of the robberies and now suspect the same bandit wore different masks during the three different hold-ups. He apparently attempted to hide his actual skin tone by using a coloring, KSFY said.
Still another robbery took place around 7 p.m. Wednesday at Happy Jacks Casino in Sioux Falls. The suspect had a towel over his head during the hold-up, television station KDLT reported.
He was described as a white male. He entered the casino and demanded money before fleeing. At no time did he indicate he had a weapon, KELO reported.
Police did not say how much money was stolen in the robberies. In total, seven robberies reportedly took place this week in Sioux Falls businesses.
I can’t really explain why we’re seeing this, but we have seen things like this in the past,” Sioux Falls Police Department Public Information Officer Sam Clemens told KELO.
He warns local businesses and individuals to comply with any threats of robbers. “There’s a chance, if someone has a knife or a gun, you don’t know what they’d be willing to do and we don’t want to see anybody seriously injured or even lose their life over some money,” Clemens told television station KELO.
He advised that clerks in stores or casinos should try to remember everything they see during a hold-up. “The clerks are able to see things a lot clearer than the surveillance cameras, so getting those details, whether it’s a logo on a hat or sweatshirt or something on their shoes, all those pieces can help solve crimes,” Clemens said.
Prior Casino Robberies in South Dakota
Elsewhere in South Dakota, during March two casinos in Rapid City were each the scene of robberies — one attempted and one successfully carried out.
In one case, Quintez Provancial, 27, of Rapid City, allegedly tried to steal money from a cash drawer and attempted to sexually assault a woman in a bathroom at the Rapid City Happy Jacks Casino.
Provancial was charged with second-degree robbery, second-degree rape, and false imprisonment. It is not immediately known what happened to his court case.
Also, an unidentified man scooped up money from a cash register at the Jokerz Casino in Rapid City after brandishing a pistol.
Two years ago, two men carried out several armed casino thefts in Sioux Falls. Both were in jail 10 days later and never were able to use the money to purchase meth, as they had planned.
The robberies took place at Deuce’s Casino, Crown Casino, and Rice Street Casino.
Additionally, in December 2017, when the Jackpot Casino Too in Rapid City was robbed twice, initially it was suspected it involved outside bandits. But later an employee was arrested for staging the two robberies at the Jackpot Casino Too.