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More than $4,000 stolen from restaurant slot machines

December 17, 2003|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

RANSON, W.Va. - Police say $4,400 in cash was stolen from four state-regulated slot machines at Boss's restaurant when someone broke into the business early Tuesday.

A burglar alarm sounded at the restaurant and bar at about 3:40 a.m., said Capt. Mickey Ballenger of the Ranson Police Department.

By the time Officer Patrick North arrived at the restaurant at 200 N. Mildred St., the machines had been broken into and the money taken, Ballenger said.

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Police believe the restaurant was entered by prying open a boarded-up window, Ballenger said.

Ballenger said it appears a crow bar was used to pry open doors on the slot machines. Another type of gambling machine also was broken into, Ballenger said.

Cash boxes were pulled out of the machines and left on the floor, Ballenger said.

Although Ballenger said he does not know how far away North was from the restaurant when the alarm sounded, he said the officer responded quickly to Boss's.

Given the officer's quick response, Ballenger said it was unclear how those responsible had enough time to break into the restaurant and the machines and leave before North arrived.

The slot machines are among thousands in West Virginia that are regulated by the state. The state began regulating the machines following the widespread use of so-called gray machines, which were unregulated.

Anyone with information about the break-in can contact the Ranson Police Department at 304-725-2411.

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