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GREENSBURG, LA (WAFB) -
It happened in an instant in the early morning hours of January 29.
"911, where's your emergency?" "Yes ma'am, this is Jon at Whispering Pines Casino. We just got robbed."
Deputy Joe Chaney of the St. Helena Parish Sheriff's Office describes
the calculated steps of an armed bandit he says knew exactly what he was
"He came in with what appears to be a gun and forced them
into the back and the cage and safe and demanded that they empty the
safe," said Chaney.
Emptying the safe and taking what Chaney tells 9News was up to $160,000 and then gone, just as quickly as he appeared.
"After getting the money out of the safe he then escorted them back to the front and he ran out the front door," added Chaney.
Shortly after the robbery a frightened call for help by one of the rattled employees went through to police.
"Did you see what vehicle they got in?"
"No ma'am, I can't see anything out there. I'm not out; I'm not going out there."
owners of the casino are remaining tight lipped about the investigation
and chose not to speak to WAFB on camera. Chaney was asked whether the
robbery was an inside job but declined to provide specifics.
just take the investigation one day at a time and work it until we get
to proper cause to do what we have to do. That's what we are going to do
continue to work it. We will not speculate on anybody being a suspect
at this time," said Chaney.
A few hundred yards away from Whispering Pines Casino sits the driveway of Debbie Allen and her family.
"It is scary because of the seclusion," said Allen.
has been in her home for over 35 years like she was the morning of the
robbery, which is on property located almost directly behind the casino.
don't know if they left on foot or car or not but if they left on foot
where are they going to go? In the woods and we're right behind the
casino in the woods by ourselves," said Allen.
neither she nor other family members who live on the property were ever
told by the sheriff's department that an armed robbery had taken place
nearby. In fact, Allen says she found out from a family friend days
"I would not like to have woke up one morning and walked
out to somebody or my back, no I think it's very frightening that people
were not alarmed, not notified," said Allen.
differs from Chaney's, who admits while no press release or statement on
the incident has been released to date, affected residents were
"You're saying the public you know they may have not
gotten it through the news media but the public was aware of what was
going on," said Chaney.
Chaney adds the investigation into the
robbery is ongoing, officers are still pursuing leads and his department
will release details when he believes it is appropriate. That does
nothing to comfort Debbie, who says she and her family's safety was put
"I could have been on alert, let me lock everything. Let
me make sure to listen more closely to bumps and creeks in the night
you know," said Allen.