Gunmen abandon vehicle, cash after Barona Casino robbery

Four gunmen robbed a cash kiosk at Barona Casino early Nov. 9, firing several shots in the process, but no one was hurt and the loot was recovered after being abandoned by the robbers, authorities said.

The black-clad masked gunmen carried handguns and rifles as they robbed the East County casino about 2:20 a.m., said San Diego County sheriff’s Lt. Hank Turner. They fled in a black SUV with a small amount of cash, he said.

The getaway vehicle was found abandoned about one mile away on Wildcat Canyon Road a short time later, sheriff’s Sgt. Tom Poulin reported, adding that a bag with cash was inside the SUV. Authorities could not immediately say why the vehicle and the money were abandoned. The money was in a glass display in the casino to promote an upcoming giveaway

Vehicle checkpoints were set up on the north and south ends of the Barona Indian Reservation in the hopes of catching the men, Turner said. The checkpoints were at Wildcat Canyon Road and San Vicente Road in Ramona, and at Wildcat Canyon Road and Willow Road in Lakeside.

The checkpoint operation lasted several hours but no suspects were found.

The suspects placed a steel chain around the display case and attached the chain to a Ford SUV parked directly outside the casino, Poulin reported. As they attempted to pull the display case from the lobby of the casino, a gun was fired, with one round on unknown caliber striking the case.

Sheriff’s detective in Santee responded to the scene and are investigating.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Department or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-580-8477.

City News Service contributed to this report.

   
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