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Police Impersonation Robberies Worry GCGC

Published: June 10, 2010 10:07 am ET

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Recent armed robberies of casino patrons which have left the River Rock Casino Resort in Richmond, BC have local authorities and gaming executives worried. “I can’t recall, in my 12 years this happening before,” Constable Lindsey Houghton of the Vancouver Police Department said.

According to an article by The Globe and Mail, in the early hours of the morning River Rock patrons are being targeted by bandits impersonating police, who follow them from the gaming establishment in an SUV with official-looking flashing blue lights, pull them over and rob them at gunpoint.

The River Rock Casino Resort is operated by Great Canadian Gaming Corporation.

The report states that there have been at least three such incidents in the past few weeks, and that the crimes took place off River Rock property. Some of the incidents took place in southern Vancouver and not in Richmond

“This is obviously a rare occurrence. However, it is alarming,” Great Canadian Gaming Corporation Vice President Howard Blank was quoted as saying. “Any time someone is in danger on or off our property, we are concerned.”

Later in the article, Houghton explains that drivers who find themselves pursued by such a vehicle should drive normally and call 911 to verify a police vehicle is in pursuit, noting there is an exemption for 911 calls in BC’s new law barring the use of a cellphone while driving.

(With files from The Globe and Mail)

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