A violent incident
Two people have been arrested in relation to an armed robbery in El Paso, Texas. The incident took place at the end of April in a hotel parking lot after the suspects followed a woman when she left the Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino in New Mexico.
had won $3,500 at the casino
She had won $3,500 at the casino and stayed at the property for about an hour longer before going back to her hotel. While parking, she saw a vehicle circling around the area before a man got out of it wearing a black bandanna mask and wielding a gun. He demanded that the woman hand over her purse and pointed the gun at her.
She refused to do so initially as she wanted to take her phone out, so the masked man pushed her to the ground and hit her in the face with his weapon. He then grabbed the purse and escaped in the getaway vehicle with the $3,500 in casino winnings, as well as another $700 in cash.
Identifying the suspects
El Paso police worked with casino security to try to piece together the events. They followed the victim’s movements within the property through surveillance footage and noticed a suspicious-looking woman hanging around the cashier’s cage.
Security had already scanned the woman’s personal identification, so they were able to find out who she was. The vehicle registered in her name was a Chevrolet Trailblazer, the same model as the getaway vehicle. El Paso police ultimately identified and arrested John Anthony Brinsfield and former teacher Jamie Marie Cowger on aggravated robbery charges; both of them are still in jail.Cowger was previously a teacher in Las Cruces, has a master’s degree and no criminal record.
When police tracked down Brinsfield, they found him with a firearm and 285 fentanyl pills. The self-employed construction worker’s bond was initially set at $400,000 and he faces additional charges of the manufacture/delivery of a controlled substance and the unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon. His bond was lowered to $95,000 following a hearing on Tuesday.
A common occurrence
People who win significant sums of money at a casino are often a target for these types of robberies. Criminals will often follow the individuals to the parking lot or all the way to their residence waiting for an opportunity to rob them. Sometimes these incidents result in fatalities.
people who try to rob the actual casino
Then there are people who try to rob the actual casino in an attempt to get away with large sums of money. In one of the more recent high-profile cases of this kind, a Las Vegas police officer was found guilty of robbing $164,000 from three different casinos. These can even be inside jobs, with an employee managing to take $500,000 from the cashier cage vault in a Colorado casino back in March.