An unidentified man armed with a machete staged a daylight robbery at a poker arcade in As Lito yesterday. A surveillance camera caught the incident.
No one was reported hurt but the suspect managed to run off with cash from MGM Poker, according to the Department of Public Safety.
Police spokesman Jason Tarkong described the suspect as about 5'10” to 6'0” tall, in his mid-20s to early 30s, and was wearing a black hooded jacket, blue jeans, white gloves, sunglasses, and had a red bandanna covering his face.
Police investigation showed that the suspect entered MGM Poker at 9:24am, barged into the cashier's booth, threatened the 20-year-old female cashier with a machete, and demanded money.
After getting the cash, the robber went outside, ran south, and disappeared behind the building where the poker arcade is located.
Tarkong said police officers reviewed the incident as recorded on the video surveillance.
Tarkong said Crime Stoppers is seeking the public's help for information on the robbery.
“DPS and Crime Stoppers need your help. Please contact the Crime Stoppers hotline at 234-7272 should you want to remain anonymous or use our website at www.nmicrimestoppers.net. Crime Stoppers pays up to $1,000 for any information leading to an arrest,” said Tarkong, who is also the Crime Stoppers coordinator.
In October 2009, an alert security guard and a female cashier foiled two masked men's attempt to rob the same MGM Poker. The suspects were not arrested.
When the security guard at MGM saw masked men outside the establishment, he immediately closed the main door. One suspect, armed with a rifle, attempted to open the door by shaking the door handle. The cashier immediately called the police.
The suspects fled on foot to the north side of the building.
This is the first reported robbery at a poker establishment in the CNMI this year.
Last year, three poker arcades on Saipan were reportedly robbed. Of the three cases, police arrested a suspect in one incident. The robber was subsequently convicted.
Last April, a female cashier of Cery Store in Kannat Tabla was injured when three masked persons robbed the establishment. The suspects were not arrested.