Las Vegas Metro Captures Strip Garage Robbery Suspects, Post-October 1 Shooting Response Shows Force
Posted on: April 11, 2018, 11:30h.
Last updated on: April 11, 2018, 11:05h.
Las Vegas police arrested two male suspects in connection with three robberies that occurred late Monday night and into early Tuesday morning in Strip casino and shopping mall parking garages. The alleged perps have since been identified as 23-year-old Johnny Terrell Jr. and 24-year-old Marquan Jackson.
According to Metro Police Lt. David Gordon, the first robbery was reported around 11:15 pm local time on Monday at the Treasure Island parking garage. Three women, ranging in age from 71 down to an adolescent, were attacked by the two men, who robbed them before fleeing in a van.
Just 15 minutes later, another robbery was called in from the Strip’s chichi Fashion Show Mall parking garage. A young couple said they had also been robbed at gunpoint by two men.
The suspects were then spotted by a patrol officer inside the SLS parking garage. Metro responded quickly, and after a short chase, apprehended the two perps.
A third male at SLS was later taken into custody as well, although it isn’t known if that was in connection to the robberies.
Police Presence Felt
Las Vegas remains on high alert in the year following last fall’s shooting that killed 58 people and injured hundreds of others. With the city’s tourism numbers affected for months afterwards, it’s clear that law enforcement is determined to stem any possible additional crimes, with a hyper-fast response to those that impact tourists.
It seems to be working: bystanders at SLS said the Las Vegas Metro response was impressive. Numerous police vehicles were on the scene in minutes, and over a dozen officers swarmed the casino resort.
“We don’t see police out like this where I’m from. Not this many at once,” a tourist from Oklahoma told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Metro’s response received both praise and criticism for its handling of the October 1, 2017 shooting.
There was no shortage of heroes that night as a mad gunman opened fire from the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay on outdoor concertgoers below attending the Route 91 Harvest country music festival. Law enforcement, first responders, hotel staff, and the general public all came together to save what lives they could.
But in the weeks following, security experts questioned if Las Vegas was truly prepared for such an event. Larry Barton, a crisis management professional who has worked as an instructor with the FBI and US Marshals Service, said during last month’s World Game Protection (WGP) conference at Bally’s that Metro’s reaction “is not what we should have expected of a great city.”
“If any city in the world other than New York and Los Angeles should have been prepared, it’s this one,” Barton declared. “Law enforcement is beating itself up, as it should, because mistakes were made.”
The four-day WGP conference typically focuses more on casino surveillance from an asset protection standpoint, but this year took on broader topics as well, such as cyber defense and overall security and safety issues.
Barton opined that it took too long to identify where the gunman was located. He added that Las Vegas needs better camera and surveillance technology, and the ability to dispatch drones.
Since the tragedy, steps have been underway to better safeguard Las Vegas. Bollards (embedded steel pedestrian barriers) were approved for installation along the Strip’s busiest areas before the October shooting, and increased security — such as metal detectors inside even high-end venues like The Smith Center for the Performing Arts downtown — have now become commonplace.
Tidal Crime Waves
Las Vegas police certainly have their hands full protecting a city that often lives up to its “sin” nickname.
2017 was the deadliest year on record in Las Vegas, with 264 homicides, including those lives lost on October 1. But even with the Route 91 Harvest deaths excluded, last year would still break the previous murder record by a mile, which was 168 in 2016. Sheriff Joe Lombardo has attributed the homicide surge to an increase in the city’s population.
In the last week alone, Metro has filed 242 crime reports for only a two-mile circumference spanning out from the Bellagio. The area boundary extends from about SLS Las Vegas to just south of Mandalay Bay.
While “disturbing the peace” reports accounted for the majority of those incidences at 108, burglary was next with 43. Assaults ranked next at 32, followed by 29 motor vehicle theft reports, 11 for vandalism, and eight for robbery (meaning a weapon was involved).
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