Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2000 | 11:09 a.m.
The steady stream of coin truck robberies in the Las Vegas Valley in recent months likely ended when three men were arrested during an attempted heist last week, Metro Police robbery officials said Monday.
"Our feeling at this point is these were the primary suspects," Lt. John Alamshaw said. "There may be some fringe people that may have been involved, but I believe we arrested the primary suspects."
Stephan Blaylock, Michael Glenn and Tony Taylor were arrested Wednesday night after a short car chase following an attempted robbery of a coin truck driver outside a bar at Spring Mountain Road and Jones Boulevard.
Blaylock also was charged in connection with a coin truck robbery Jan. 25 outside of a grocery store in the 600 block of North Nellis Boulevard, Alamshaw said.
Metro robbery detectives questioned the three men about additional holdups and other possible suspects in the rash of coin truck heists after last week's arrest.
Alamshaw would not say what, if anything, detectives found out during the questioning of the suspects, but he did say police anticipate more arrests in connection with other coin truck robberies.
"Our investigation is continuing, and we are making every effort to identify others that were involved," he said.
Those efforts likely will include past methods like the way the three suspects were arrested last week -- surveillance. A squad of detectives were following the three men Wednesday night.
Police accuse Blaylock and Taylor of getting out of the car and going up to the coin truck driver.
Blaylock is accused of starting to hit the driver with a handgun. That's when the detectives ran in. Blaylock is accused of turning toward the officers with the gun in his hand. Sgt. Clint Robison fired his shotgun twice, but missed the gunman and hit the suspects' car.
Police had been stepping up the investigations into the coin truck robberies for weeks with two detectives dedicated solely to identifying suspects and solving the holdups.
Alamshaw and detectives also met with the coin truck route operators in November to discuss ways the company could help prevent some of the robberies. Since that meeting there had been at least a dozen coin truck robberies.
Police suggested companies hire security guards or put two people in the truck that service slot machines in bars, restaurants, grocery stores and convenience stores.
"We've altered the way we've done our business," said Brian Skagen, president of Southwest Gaming. "Emotionally (the string of robberies) has been stressful for our drivers."
Southwest also has been looking into technology that will eliminate cash and coins by using a card system with winnings wired into accounts, Skagen said.
Police have said since the series of holdups started that one group was not entirely responsible. The three men are not suspects in all the robberies.
Alamshaw said after the robberies started, the method used could have been copied as suspects talked with each other.