Police note surge in gameroom robberies
by Mindy Aguon
Guam - The Guam Police Department has seen an increase in robberies and burglaries in recent months. In recent weeks though there's been a rash of gameroom robberies and police offer some tips to local businessowners to prevent being hit.
"Gamerooms are notorious for being targeted even small mom and pop stores and the gas stations," stated GPD spokesperson Officer A.J. Balajadia, noting says police have seen a spike in robberies and the majority involved the suspect using a weapon. The department is unclear if the gamerooms are being targeted due to the recent renewal of licenses of amusement devices like liberty and Uncle Sam that have made their reappearance in the establishments.
In each case the victims have acted differently. Some lock themselves in cashier cages, while others have gotten into their cars and followed the suspects until police caught up.
Officer Balajadia says local business owners are advised to install surveillance cameras that are a huge deterrent for criminals. The key is to ensure they are actually working and recording as some establishments have been victimized despite having cameras but no recordings to help police locate the suspect. In other cases the video taken at some recent robberies has aided police in their efforts in apprehending suspects.
While being victim of a robbery is traumatizing, police say the more details you can gather during the crime, the better. Balajadia said, "It's really important that you get as much information to the department when it's over with. So when the individual calls in we need to know how tall, if it s male or female. We need to know how many of them. We need to know whatever description you can give us, clothing even the way they speak and the type of weapon."
Balajadia says all of that information can help police who may be in the area catch the fleeing suspect. "Although police are responding to your establishment, we do have police in the area so we'll have patrols out there looking for this individual. The sooner we get that info to us the sooner and the likelihood of us catching somebody is greater," he explained.
Police also advise the public to comply with the demands of an individual during a robbery and not try to fight the person, but just get the very best description possible and call police immediately.