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How secure are local game rooms?

Posted at 8:59 PM, Feb 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-18 00:35:13-05

A security guard who was shot in the abdomen at a south side game room last week is still recovering from his injuries.

It happened during an attempted robbery at the Buena Suerte game room on Everhart Road. It's one of many similar establishments that have started popping up all over Corpus Christi and Nueces County.

Last week's shooting highlights the need for game room owners to make safety and security a priority.

Having security at the front door is one safety measure game room owners consider, while surveillance video systems is another. Some game rooms' front doors are locked, and require customers to 'buzz' in.

Rita Rivera works at Diamond Sweepstakes, a game room on Saratoga Boulevard. She told KRIS 6 News the establishment has at least a dozen cameras recording inside and outside at all times. The game room also has an alarm system that'll alert staff when the door opens.

Staff like Rivera also wear a lanyard that can be put to use if they see anything suspicious or feel like they're in danger. On that lanyard is a button, and when it's pressed, the Corpus Christi Police Department will be alerted immediately.

Some game rooms stay open late, while others are open 24/7.

"When the sun goes down and it starts getting dark, we lock the door and we make sure we know who is coming in before we even open the door," Rivera said.

Rivera said while on the job, she mostly stays in a secured area and keeps an eye on the surveillance system. That secured area can lock, and the door is made of a material that is hard to break through if somebody were to attempt to kick the door in.

The nearly 60 other game rooms in Nueces County all have similar safety measures and security in place, in hopes it will prevent crimes like last week's from happening in the future.

"It is crazy," said Rivera. "I guess people just don't care and they just try to go in and take money back there, when it's nothing to really lose your life over or get away for."

CCPD tells KRIS 6 News they haven't seen an increase in crimes at game rooms. They did however mention they frequently patrol areas where game rooms are located.