UPDATED: Serial Arcade Bandits Strike in Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania


UPDATED (posted July 9, 2018):

Ocean City police have publicly identified two of the suspects who stole money from arcade games on the same Sunday, June 24, in Rehoboth Beach, Ocean City and Pennsylvania. They were accompanied by a young girl who was used as a distraction.

The third suspect has not yet been identified. Police would like to know who he is and where the three are hiding. Police ask that people call the Crime Tip Hotline at (410) 520-5136 or leave an anonymous tip at oceancitymd.gov/police.

Photos courtesy Ocean City PD


ORIGINAL STORY:  You can sense the frustration in his voice after an organized gang of thieves busted open several of his arcade machines using a young girl as part of their cover just to steal petty cash. This same group has been damaging and breaking into game machines at arcades, restaurants and buffets in at least three states in just the past couple weeks, says Matt Weiner, whose family owns the three Zelky’s arcades on the Rehoboth boardwalk.

They used the little girl, he says, as a distraction, by having her play the nearest game so the adults appear less suspicious.

The bandits struck his arcade on June 24. “They came for some fun, sun and grand larceny,” Weiner said. This past week he learned from social media posts that this same group is also responsible for similar thefts in Ocean City and Annville Township.

The gang, Weiner says, typically crowds around a machine to block it from view. While one of them plays, he points out, another breaks into the cash box. Weiner is outraged that they are also dragging the girl into the crimes.

After they committed the thefts, they allowed her to ride the elephant outside his arcade as if nothing had happened. By the time they had noticed what had happened, the group, he said, had fled.

This past weekend, Ocean City police announced on Facebook that two of the adults have been identified. Police are attempting to locate the suspects and check on the welfare of the girl. Anybody knowing the whereabouts of these suspects is requested to contact the police.

Photos courtesy Matt Weiner