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Security tight at Apex, official says

Safety questions follow robbery of Sherwood Park woman after returning home from a casino

By: Amy Crofts

  |  Posted: Saturday, Jan 18, 2014 06:00 am

WANTED – Police are seeking help finding two men who allegedly followed a woman home from a casino and robbed her of her winnings.
WANTED – Police are seeking help finding two men who allegedly followed a woman home from a casino and robbed her of her winnings.
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Safety tips when leaving a casino:

• If possible, always try to go to the casino with at least one other person and leave together.
• Use a security escort from the casino to get to your vehicle if you have won a large sum of cash.
• Be aware of your surroundings. If you feel that you are being followed after leaving the casino drive to a very public place or to your nearest police station.

An official with Apex Casino is assuring the public that security measures are tight at the St. Albert facility following an incident in which a Sherwood Park woman was followed home and robbed after winning money at an Edmonton casino on Christmas Eve.

“It’s just so sad,” said Apex marketing manager Sarah Van Dusen in light of the RCMP’s appeal to the public for more information about the Sherwood Park incident.

On Dec. 24 around 1:30 a.m., a 59-year-old woman was returning from a casino on Argyll Road in Edmonton – where she had won an undisclosed amount of money – to her residence in Sherwood Park.

When the woman was parking in her driveway, two men approached her.

One man told the victim to give him the money. The victim hesitated at first and then the man grabbed her sweater at which time she turned over her purse. The suspect quickly went through the purse and took the cash.

Both men then fled the immediate area on foot. The victim was not physically injured and no weapons were used. It is possible that the suspects may have been driving a white Toyota or Honda car.

The suspects are described as both being approximately 19 to 20 years old, five-feet, seven inches tall, and both wearing tight black toques. The man who demanded the money also had a black ski jacket, blue jeans and black or blue snowmobile-style boots that came up high on his leg. This man also appeared to have an overbite.

RCMP believe the victim was targeted and followed home from the casino.

“We’ve never had anything like that happen here … and we can just hope nothing like that ever does,” said Van Dusen.

A VLT player recently rang in the new year with a $1-million win on the Diamond Millions slot machine at Apex Casino on Jan. 1.

Van Dusen said security escorts are available for patrons. Guards are stationed at every door and security cameras cover every square inch of the casino floor as well as the parking lot, she said.

“If you’re on the grounds at all, we can see you,” she said.

How winnings are paid out is also tightly regulated.

Diamond Millions and progressive jackpots are paid out via cheque by the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission, explained Tatjana Laskovic, communications officer with AGLC. The casino pays out smaller sums. Payout via cash or cheque is dependent on the amount as well as the casino operator.

“If $1,000 was won (on any game) it would notify the casino attendant and the game would lock. The casino attendant would walk over to the game and walk the player to the cash cage for payout,” said Laskovic.

Casino operators are also required to submit a photo of all large jackpot winners to the gaming commission.


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