THREE masked men armed with a pistol staged a spectacular raid on an amusement arcade in Palma's Calle Fabrica on Sunday night, threatening staff and customers, and forcing them to lie on the floor before emptying the slot machines. The raid took place just half an hour before closing time, and the thieves apparantly knew that the whole weekend's takings would be on the premises as they were not due to be banked until Monday. There were few customers in the arcade at the time and the masked men pulled down the metal barrier from the inside, to prevent other people from entering. While one man threatened staff and customers at gunpoint, another put an empty sports bag on the bar and started to fill it with thousands of coins from the slot machines. According to eyewitnesses, the three men knew exactly what to do and they wore very thick rubber gardening gloves, in order not to leave fingerprints.
It took them just ten minutes to break open nine slot machines using crowbars which they left behind when they made their escape.
They fled on foot, through the narrow streets of the Santa Catalina district.
Apart from the haul, the exact amount of which has not been calculated, considerable material damage was caused to the slot machines, some of which are a complete write off. The case is being investigated by National Police Officers.
Although the men wore hoods, it is believed that they were aged between 35 and 40, and from they way they acted, police sources say that they were experienced in this type of operation.
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