Customers were turned away from the Winners VLT Lounge at the Quality Inn North Hill Red Deer Wednesday afternoon after a robbery.

Customers were turned away from the Winners VLT Lounge at the Quality Inn North Hill Red Deer Wednesday afternoon after a robbery.

Armed robbers hit VLT lounge

Police are not commenting on the possibility that armed robberies at two VLT lounges in Red Deer in less than a month are linked.

Police are not commenting on the possibility that armed robberies at two VLT lounges in Red Deer in less than a month are linked.

On Wednesday, Red Deer RCMP were searching for two men, believed to be in their 20s, who held up the Quality Inn North Hill Inn’s VLT lounge and demanded cash around 1 p.m.

Police say the men were brandishing long guns but no one was injured during the heist.

Few details were released about the incident.

RCMP and police dog services swept the area near the hotel and asked residents to stay clear as they searched for clues.

At this time, police believe the men are both Caucasian and are about 25-years-old.

On July 24, the Radisson Hotel on 67th Street was held up by gunpoint by two masked men. One suspect was armed with a long-barrelled firearm and the other carried a handgun. The man with the long-barrelled gun fired shots at the ceiling before the duo made off with cash from the VLT lounge.

In that instance, one suspect was wearing a black hoodie, a ball cap, dark pants and white running shoes. He was wearing a dark-coloured face covering with a white design on it. The other suspect wore a grey hoodie, black shoes, a ball cap. A light-coloured covering concealed his face.

Police continue to investigate both robberies.

In 2011 three armed robberies — two at the Capri Centre (now the Sheraton Red Deer Hotel) and one at the Boston Pizza across the street — had police stumped. Those crimes remain unsolved.

Two males with concealed faces brandished a loaded shotgun and an extendable baton when they entered the VLT lounge at the Capri on May 1, 2011. They got away in a stolen car with an undisclosed amount of cash.

The hotel’s VLT lounge was again targeted on Oct. 3, 2011, in the evening. Two males with partially covered faces — one carried a rifle and the other a shotgun — emptied the till and fled with an undisclosed amount of cash.

Less than a month later, on Nov. 1, two men with concealed faces and carrying firearms entered the Boston Pizza lounge in the 3200 block of Gaetz Avenue demanding money.

Contact the Red Deer RCMP at 403-343-5575 if you have any information on these incidents. If you wish to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-477 or report it online at www.tipsubmit.com.

crhyno@bprda.wpengine.com

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