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Violent Gang Locked Up Following Buzz Bingo Club Robbery

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A gang of violent masked robbers attacked Buzz Bingo Birmingham as well as a number of other businesses across the West Midlands between November 2022 and June 2023. Police have now released CCTV footage showing the gang in action after its members were jailed for a total of 54 years.

The group targeted several shops, arcades and a travel agent with video footage showing them threatening workers with implements such as hammers, knives and an axe. They would raid businesses during working hours and even resorted to holding staff hostage while demanding that money was handed over.

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Gang Made Off with Thousands

The gang stole thousands of pounds from five venues before eventually being caught by police on 19 July 2024. In total, there were four members: Aaron Day, 36 from Rowley Regis; Liam Bell, 28 from West Bromwich; Jordell Duquesney, 26 from Halesowen; and Richard Gray, 42 from Birmingham city centre. All previously admitted conspiracy to rob, and earlier this month, Day, Bell, and Duquesney were each jailed for 14 years, while Gray was jailed for 12 years and nine months.

In court, it was revealed that the group first targeted Shipley’s arcade on West Bromwich High Street at 10:20 am on November 20, 2022. Three of them, wearing masks and holding hammers and knives, ran in and threatened staff and customers until cash was handed over. During the incident, one member of staff was seized by the throat while another felt a knife pressed into his back before the gang made off with thousands of pounds.

Gang Next Targeted Gambling Venues

A few weeks later, on December 2, the robbery gang targets the Buzz Bingo club in Erdington, Birmingham. Once again, three members entered, wielding hammers and knives. They threatened staff and customers and forced them all into one area while demanding that the safe be opened.

Staff were unable to open the safe and the gang then attacked the manager before fleeing in a stolen car having stolen money from a cash machine.

Next, on December 20, Cashino in Birmingham city centre was targeted by three men who held staff hostage for an hour. They waited in the venue for the safe’s time lock to run down before they escaped with cash in the same stolen car.

Following the robbery at Cashino, one victim told police:

“I wake up in the night seeing the male that grabbed me. I’ve only been out the house on my own three times since the incident and each time was a nightmare. I became really panicky each time I saw someone with a hood up. This has completely taken away my confidence.”

The next venue was a Co-op Travel in Wednesbury, which was targeted on April 22 last year. The gang made off with thousands of pounds in a stolen Ford Focus. They then attacked a Cash Converters in Kingstanding, Birmingham, once again making off with cash.

Tracked with CCTV, Mobiles and Cars

The police managed to track down the gang using a mixture of witness evidence, CCTV, mobile phones and cars. Police arrested Day and Duquesney at Day’s home, where they found Day sitting on a bucket hat with a balaclava and a pair of gloves hidden inside while Duquesney was sitting on a large black coat that had a balaclava and a pair of gloves stuffed in the sleeve. When searching the house, detectives also found sets of number plates prepared with double-sided tape.

Speaking about the arrests and convictions, Detective Constable John Marsh, from West Midlands Police’s Major Crime Proactive Unit, said:

“This was an appalling series of robberies, with violence used and threatened against people going about their business. The CCTV shows how weapons were brandished and people were held hostage and marched around and as the gang stole from businesses around the region. It’s had a lasting impact on these victims, who were left terrified but thankfully not seriously injured. This was a major investigation incorporating a whole host of techniques, which has resulted in these dangerous men being behind bars today.”

Other Bingo Hall Robberies

This is not the first time that a bingo hall has been targeted by thieves. For instance, last year, Stanley Elliott was found guilty of stealing more than £28,000 from the Buzz Bingo hall in Basingstoke, and in 2020, a gang of thieves were found guilty of striking Mecca Bingo south-east London.

However, on the whole, bingo clubs are extremely safe venues, as are online bingo websites, and vast numbers of people are able to enjoy safe, friendly games on a day to day basis without a hint of the horrors described above.

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Mike Bennet
Author: Mike Bennett
Dedicated to keeping the spirit of bingo alive. I think bingo sites translate tradition into a modern context and I aim to provide our readers with the latest from the world of online bingo, including industry news, launches, and promotions.

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