Heidelberg Poker Robbers Make Off With $5,900

A poker game held at the Heidelberg Volunteer Fire Department was robbed by three armed men around 2.30a.m. Tuesday morning. Heidelberg police Chief Vernon Barkley is investigating the possibility that the robbery was an inside job after players in the event described one of the players as acting nervously throughout the night, behaving erratically and spending a lot of time on his cell phone.
The very same man left the building around 2.30a.m. shortly before two of the robbers entered the room followed by one more robber a little later. It is believed the player may have left the door open for the robbers to enter.
The gang armed with guns and a baton ordered the 20 or so players to the floor and then demanded event organiser 53-year-old Sara Lazzaro to hand over the money. When she said she didn’t have the money she was struck across the head a couple of times and later had to be taken to hospital to have stitches and be treated for concussion.
Heidelberg Police Chief Vernon Barkley said: “They specifically asked for Sara Lazzaro, assuming she was the keeper of the funds.They hit her over the head, searched her, and took the money.”
The amount taken by the robbers is yet to be confirmed but one witness who had a gun pointed to his head during the incident said at least $6,000 was stolen. Police are now investigating the nervous player who left just before the robbery took place as well as looking into cell phone records of people who were at the game.
Chief Vernon Barkley has now moved to stop the Heidelberg fire hall manager from allowing any future poker games at the premises and expressed his opinion on the negative impact the games can have:
“It brings in undesirable elements..Other communities need to think very carefully before they allow these games..There are so many court decisions right now,” Barkley said. “One judge says it’s not illegal because it’s a game of skill, another says it is illegal..It’s a done deal here. No more games.”

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