MENSA Rejects Attempt Bingo Hall Robbery

Crime is rare at most bingo halls although robberies do take place occasionally due to the cash nature of the business. Most people attend bingo games to socialize and spend an evening with friends. For most bingo players financial gain is a secondary consideration. Last September two MENSA rejects tried to rob a bingo hall with disastrous and somewhat comical results. In Nashua New Hampshire a man and his son decided a local bingo hall would be an easy target-big mistake!

Police credited several quick thinking employees at the Spruce Street bingo hall, known as Eagle’s Wing Function Center for overcoming and holding a 46 year old neighborhood man that entered the hall in the middle of a game and brandished a handgun while demanding money. Officers responding to calls from the hall encountered 20 year old Justin Preston outside the hall and went in the hall and found his father, Charles Preston, being restrained by employees and players. Police arrested the father and took the son into custody as an accomplice. The two live just around the corner from the hall.

Charles Preston was charged with one count of robbery and Justin was charged with criminal liability to robbery. The robbers hit just after a break when players were starting their second game. Janet Berry, who plays bingo at the hall regularly, said “I heard a scream, then a commotion over by the office. Then someone yelled something about being robbed. Oh yeah, it was scary, very scary.” Berry said a man and woman were in the office at the time. Berry went on to say “Six guys took him down. They (the Prestons) probably figured it would be easy, because a lot of elderly people go to bingo.”

Police said the employees were not in the office at the time but observed the robbery from several vantage points in the hall. They went to the office and confronted the elder Preston. Berry said most players remained seated but about 20 went to the front of the hall where they encountered Justin Preston. Berry said “He kept on hollering, ‘let him go, let him go.” Berry said the younger Preston ran when police arrived “but they got him pretty fast.” Fortunately events like this are rare at most bingo halls. Players that want their safety guaranteed should probably play online bingo!

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