Man dressed as ninja robs Rapid City casino at sword point

2010-11-19T05:30:00Z 2010-11-19T06:35:45Z Man dressed as ninja robs Rapid City casino at sword pointDavid Montgomery Journal staff Rapid City Journal
November 19, 2010 5:30 am  • 

A third Rapid City casino has been robbed in less than a week -- and the weapons used are getting bigger.

The Happy Jacks casino on Cambell Street was robbed early Thursday morning by a person with a sword, a day after two men with knives stole cash from a Happy Jacks on Mount Rushmore Road.

The parent company of Happy Jacks, M.G. Oil, is offering a $10,000 reward for "information leading to the arrest and the conviction of the robbers," vice president Troy Erickson said.

The Thursday robbery took place at 1:35 a.m. An individual described as about 5 feet, 5 inches tall, wearing black "ninja-type" clothing and a mask, walked in armed with a sword and demanded money. The clerk cooperated with the robber, who fled with an undisclosed amount of money.

The employee, who was the only person in the store during the incident, is "pretty shook up," Erickson said.

Erickson said he believes the three robberies -- including an armed robbery of Joker's Casino on Mount Rushmore Road on Sunday morning -- are connected.

Police released surveillance video of the first two robberies and hope the video will help catch the suspects. One of the robbers has a distinct limp.

"I got a feeling that someone knows his distinct walk," Erickson said.

The culprit of the Sunday robbery was described as a male between 20 and 30 years old, 5 feet, 10 inches tall, weighing about 160 pounds, wearing dark clothing and a ski mask and carrying a knife.

Wednesday's robbery was committed by two men, both about 5 feet, 8 inches tall, weighing about 160 pounds, wearing dark jackets, hooded sweatshirts and carrying knives.

Rapid City Police Lt. Tom Vlieger said police don't yet have any proof the three robberies are connected but are investigating the possibility.

Happy Jacks casinos began keeping less cash on premises after Wednesday's robbery, and Erickson said Thursday's robber "got less than the first one."

M.G. Oil has also hired extra security for its casinos.

Though casino robberies aren't unheard of in Rapid City, Vlieger said three in one week is extremely rare.

If individuals find themselves in the middle of an armed robbery, Vlieger said they should comply with the robber's demands.

"We do not advise that they resist the robber's demands for money," Vlieger said.

Anyone with information about these robberies should call the police at 394-4134 or 394-4131.

The police department is also handling inquiries about the $10,000 reward.

Journal reporter Holly Meyer contributed to this report

Contact David Montgomery at 394-8329 or

Copyright 2015 Rapid City Journal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(34) Comments

  1. PalinLies
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    PalinLies - November 21, 2010 5:53 pm
    If the law enforcement "professionals" in RC want to see the faces of these felons, they need do little more than view the security camera images from a few days before these robberies. These thiefs may be idiots but I can almost guarantee they visited these "casinos" prior to stealing from them.
  2. sdcowgirl1551
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    sdcowgirl1551 - November 19, 2010 9:38 pm
    Rapid City Ninjas. Say that fast 3 times and it is still funny. Can't help but think that it would be even funnier if he showed up with his sword to a gun fight. Could end the ninja problem real quick.
  3. Jayde7
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    Jayde7 - November 19, 2010 8:26 pm
    I have reviewed the videos made available from the first two robberies, and it appears that the individual that carried out the robbery on the 14th was also involved in the robbery carried out on the 17th. My observation is based upon noticing that he appears to be wearing the same jacket & pull over cold-weather facemask. Also, the same shoes, and shirt. I noticed that upon him exiting the casinos (in both videos) it shows the bottom portion of a red shirt sticking out of the bottom half of his jacket on the back side. Also, during the second robbery, if you look out the window, there is a car driving toward the casino and it makes a right-hand turn. The two individuals committing the robbery appear to be watching/waiting for this car, and after it turns the corner, they run out of the casino and around the corner in the same direction as the car. Have the authorities checked with any neighboring businesses or residents to see if their surveillance systems may have recorded a date/time stamped video of this automobile passing by? I also noticed that his fumbling buddy in the Spooky Clown mask touched the door (inside and out), as well as the counter. Has MG Oil check their with their HR Department for individuals who have recently been terminated/laid off, as one time, it may be random, 2 times odd coincidence, but 3 times, potential pay-back vendetta. They seem to be getting braver, yet increasingly dumber at the same time. They will be caught. I would greatly enjoy the opportunity to view the 3rd surveillance video if there is one…will it be posted
  4. Glock10mm
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    Glock10mm - November 19, 2010 4:56 pm
    "RCPD can't work on solving this. They are too busy...being the moral police and taking adult toys out of stores."

    One more time for those of you who can't focus: RCPD was ordered by Mayor Hanks and the City Attorney to confiscate those items. Direct your anger to the correct party please.

  5. jonesi
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    jonesi - November 19, 2010 1:58 pm
    RoyalFlush wrote - "The lady wasn't smoking you can clearly see she just sat a beer down."

    Hold on Royal the next thing will be outlawing booz in casino's and bars.
  6. Roland
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    Roland - November 19, 2010 1:55 pm
    Fergrat said: "Sorry, the RCPD can't work on solving this. They are too busy fighting major dastardly crime, such being the moral police and taking adult toys out of stores."

    Police enforce the law. If you don't like the law, go to the city. Whining doesn't accomplish anyhting.

  7. RoyalFlush
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    RoyalFlush - November 19, 2010 12:48 pm
    The lady wasn't smoking you can clearly see she just sat a beer down. So it is very cool smokers are following the rules and I know a lot of smokers who are happy about the ban, they dont like second hand smoke either!!!
  8. RoyalFlush
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    RoyalFlush - November 19, 2010 12:37 pm
    I live less than a half mile from church!!!
  9. RoyalFlush
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    RoyalFlush - November 19, 2010 12:36 pm
    I feel like I live in Las Vegas, cant even go to church without passing 5 casinos.
  10. Fergrat
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    Fergrat - November 19, 2010 10:22 am
    Sorry, the RCPD can't work on solving this. They are too busy fighting major dastardly crime, such being the moral police and taking adult toys out of stores.
  11. StoneySalad
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    StoneySalad - November 19, 2010 9:22 am
    Better lighting, rent-a-cop, arming the casino staff, all no problem for a well trained Ninja. Also to the poster who said that the Ninja are assasins and whould have killed everyone in the place: Ninja usually have very specific targets and will do just about anything to assinate the target. He/she could be looking for financing required to achieve ther final mission. This type of robbery, as a means to meet the ends, would still be well within the ninja code.
  12. Fast Eddie
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    Fast Eddie - November 19, 2010 9:14 am
    Hey, what gives? As one of the posters pointed out it looks like the lady playing the machine was smoking. I believe if the law is going to do its job she has to pay a fine of $25.00 and the person that was supposed to be enforcing has to pay $25.00. Maybe when they catch these clowns and if they get the money back the law can just deduct 50 bucks right off the top of any money recovered. The video isn't real clear but it looks like she puts her smoke in the ashtray to her left before she heads for the door.
  13. Glock10mm
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    Glock10mm - November 19, 2010 8:46 am
    "Ninja's are assassins for hire not robbers."

    After watching the video, I can definitively say that these clowns are not ninjas. They don't even have nunchucks or throwing stars or blinding eggs.

  14. Chase81
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    Chase81 - November 19, 2010 8:14 am
    lolwut said: "Because a true ninja would have just killed everyone in the place, without being seen and then they would get paid by whoever hired them to kill the people. Ninja's are assassins for hire not robbers."

    The economy has been tough. Even for ninjas.
  15. Shooter
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    Shooter - November 19, 2010 6:43 am
    These clowns are giving us legit ninjas a bad image.
  16. lolwut
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    lolwut - November 19, 2010 5:59 am
    Glock10mm said: "Dressed up like a ninja? How do we know that it wasn't actually a ninja?"

    Because a true ninja would have just killed everyone in the place, without being seen and then they would get paid by whoever hired them to kill the people. Ninja's are assassins for hire not robbers.
  17. Junkyard Dog
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    Junkyard Dog - November 19, 2010 5:47 am
    Hmmmm.... a sword,and ninja suit. I would start looking in every mothers basement for the culprit.
  18. peanut gallery
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    peanut gallery - November 18, 2010 10:41 pm
    The bare hand print was a nice observation. There is another law being broken in one of the videos too...the woman playing the machine had a cigarette in her hand. Granted, it could have been one of those electronic ones, but it does make me wonder how seriously the new law is being taken. Very pleased that no one was hurt during these cowardly acts.
  19. crystal2010
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    crystal2010 - November 18, 2010 8:56 pm
    is it illegal for cashiers to carry pepper spray.i dont think theyd be runnin anywere after they get sprayed.
  20. MurphysLaw
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    MurphysLaw - November 18, 2010 7:45 pm
    so we are seeing casino roberies let look on the bright side none have used firearms with the number of rifle and shotguns in this town im gratefull noone has started shooting up the place. and a security cop would deter the problem and is a great idea bt most make 12 to 15 an hour for one with a security licsence. but then that goes back to gun problem yeah these guys gott away with a feww hunder maybe at most a thousand bt is that worth serious injury... i think not. think cashiers did there jobs, and polices are good give them what they want let the police handle it.
  21. OneMansOpinion
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    OneMansOpinion - November 18, 2010 6:00 pm
    Infidel said: "The casinos rob people of millions of dollars a day. What's the wrong with someone robbing them of a few thousand once in a while? "

    I'm not really sure, but I don't recall anyone ever being forced by someone armed with a lethal weapon to drop their hard earned money against their will at a casino.

    But keep up the silly comparisons. They are good for a laugh.
  22. Infidel
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    Infidel - November 18, 2010 5:22 pm
    The casinos rob people of millions of dollars a day. What's the wrong with someone robbing them of a few thousand once in a while?
  23. Glock10mm
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    Glock10mm - November 18, 2010 5:04 pm
    Dressed up like a ninja? How do we know that it wasn't actually a ninja?
  24. crystal2010
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    crystal2010 - November 18, 2010 5:01 pm
    i seen that too do a finger print check.are have under cover police in the they look like regular customers.
  25. TMan
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    TMan - November 18, 2010 4:35 pm
    No one would be robbing these places with swords if the staff were allowed to carry firearms.
  26. crystal2010
    Report Abuse
    crystal2010 - November 18, 2010 4:26 pm
    gees..why cant these people get a job an work for the money instead of stealing?hopefully they get caught are someone turns them in.
  27. 23bb2010
    Report Abuse
    23bb2010 - November 18, 2010 4:23 pm
    If you watch the video, one of the robbers put his bear hand right on the counter. I wonder if they fingerprinted that?
  28. JohnRN
    Report Abuse
    JohnRN - November 18, 2010 4:18 pm
    They are probably upset they can't smoke in the casino anymore.
  29. ranchgirl
    Report Abuse
    ranchgirl - November 18, 2010 4:08 pm
    Glad nobody was hurt. Did they look like a turtle?
  30. Thank you
    Report Abuse
    Thank you - November 18, 2010 4:02 pm
    Excellent video quality! Thanks for posting it. Although you cannot see the men's faces, you might recognize their mannerisms, clothing, etc. Amazing how quickly it transpired, and I grateful the employee was not harmed.
  31. bman123
    Report Abuse
    bman123 - November 18, 2010 3:43 pm
    I would spend the extra $8/hr and hire a rent-a-cop. Didn't know these places were open past 1am? It would be sad to lose a life over a few thousand dollars.
  32. Papalittle
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    Papalittle - November 18, 2010 3:16 pm
    Hire armed security guards, electrify the floor around counter and have a button cashier can push to send 200,000 volts through robber.
  33. ripoff
    Report Abuse
    ripoff - November 18, 2010 2:47 pm
    Can somebody please call Chuck Norris and let him know of Rapid City's ninja problem?? Help us Chuck Norris!
  34. 196thlightinfantry
    Report Abuse
    196thlightinfantry - November 18, 2010 2:28 pm
    Good luck with keeping less cash on hand. The deal is at video lottery, you have to have the cash on hand to pay the winners. If word gets out you do not, then you just as well close the doors. Gamblers use these places for instant gratification, if they cannot find it, whats the point?

    Maybe, they should put some better lighting and spend a little of those profits to put in better security. It would seem that the best idea would be to make a deterrent that would be visible. I think that if this unemployment insurance deal is not fixed here right soon, we are going be to seeing a lot of desparate folks wanting to feed their families and keep a roof over their heads. Desparate folks make for desparate measures.
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