Posted: Oct 1, 2012 5:58 PM by Rachel Cole - firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated: Oct 1, 2012 6:51 PM
DUVAL COUNTY -- The Sheriff's efforts to shut down game rooms continued Monday morning as he and his deputies visited each location to make sure they were closed.
September 30th was the deadline for those businesses to shut down or face an investigation. Sheriff Romeo Ramirez said safety is the priority for the public. It's been nearly a month since 2 armed gunmen wearing ski masks robbed the Stardust game room near San Diego and got away with nearly 25-hundred dollars. Four arrests were made after the robbery.
However, Sheriff Ramirez sent a letter to all of the game room operators in the county, ordering them to close. The letter said that the game room businesses were violating every thing from gambling laws to building code regulations. On Monday, Sheriff Ramirez went door-to-door to see which businesses complied.
"I know we visited, I think it was like 12 establishments this morning and pretty much each and every one of them had a gate with a lock on it or some type of structure blocking the way for the establishment," Sheriff Ramirez said.
Six news rode with sheriff's deputies to various game room locations only to find barricaded entrances, locked doors and no signage. Something the sheriff's department said, operators did on their own.
"We didn't enforce any kind of closure on them, it's a voluntary closure," Deputy Matt Caffey said.
Our first stop was at what used to be the Stardust game room off County Road 304 near San Diego. Where that robbery took place in early September, sending the sheriff's department into lock down mode.
As a result of the Sheriff's warning to game room operators, the doors are now locked and the lights are out for game rooms across Duval County.
After driving around all morning we didn't find a single game room open for business. "I'm surprised we didn't have to be more reactive to the situation," Deputy Caffey said.
The sheriff's department plans to keep a close eye on the establishments to ensure that none of them plan to re-open in the future.
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