State Fair workers tied up by armed robbers, more than $10,000 taken from beer booths

Categories: Crime
10kbeersstatefair.jpg
Erik Hess for City Pages
This beer hall was the location of the first armed robbery in the fair's history.
:::: UPDATE :::: Antonio Washington, Jarret Maiden Arrested for State Fair Armed Robbery

Around 11:15 p.m. Friday, "more than one" armed suspect tied up two workers inside the State Fair's Land of 10,000 Beers Craft Beer Hall and made off with more than $10,000 from booths.

State Fair police spokesperson Brooke Blakey tells us it's the first armed robbery in the fair's history. The suspects fled the scene with the money, and the victims eventually freed themselves and reported the incident to police.

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"There have been thefts [in the past] but those have not been with a weapon and the money has generally been recovered," Blakey says.

No arrests have been made and so Blakey, citing the ongoing investigation, was a bit tight-lipped with details. She says the victims did provide suspect descriptions to police.

Though the fair was still open to the public at the time of the robbery, the beer hall closed at 9 p.m.

With all that cash floating around the fair, we asked Blakey what vendors do for security.

"All food vendors are responsible for their own security and how they transport their money," she replies, adding that many hire off-duty cops.

The beer hall took that approach after the incident, but unfortunately, there was no security in the building when the robbery occurred, Blakey tells us.

Vehicles entering the fairgrounds are subject to search, but bags aren't.

"We don't know what type of weapon was used, but most likely it came in a backpack," Blakey says.

Asked whether the armed robbery could prompt fair officials to reconsider inspecting bags, Blakey says that's a decision that'll be made "after we sit down, look at different opportunities, and give vendors information on how to secure their property."

Send your story tips to the author, Aaron Rupar. Follow him on Twitter @atrupar.






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90 comments
Brandy Buss
Brandy Buss

This makes me sad! Shaking head with disgust!

james_a_dawson
james_a_dawson

I wonder... is there a description of the suspects available? Certainly someone saw them as they were getting tied up.

Brady Kosen
Brady Kosen

Yeah, crazy... I hope they catch them!

Chris Hiatt
Chris Hiatt

And of course state fair bans guns on their premises.

Chris Hiatt
Chris Hiatt

And why? Because all the police officers do is walk around trying to find the mini donut stand.

Ronda Schultz
Ronda Schultz

Whaaaaaaattt!?!?! How!?! Uhhhh?!! Totally an inside job!!

Phineas T. Phobos
Phineas T. Phobos

Dunno, $7 for a corn dog is armed robbery in my opinion.....

noneeeee
noneeeee

This is why vendors should take credit/debit cards.  Too much cash at the fair.

balls
balls

I think we need to ask ourselves who did the hiring for this particular attraction. This could easily be a case of "ban the box" having unintended but quite obvious consequences. 

Cara Louise
Cara Louise

Although this is sad, can I please grammar police on the incorrect use of then/than? I know you're just the city pages, but proof reading still lends to credibility.

Shayne O'Neil
Shayne O'Neil

They better not be if there's a sign posted at the gate again.

Rebecca Dangerfield
Rebecca Dangerfield

Chris Early, if it wasn't at O'Gara's or by the fried pickles then I wouldn't know!

Kaia Rubin
Kaia Rubin

You don't need a gun to tie someone up and rob their business, it's not even about that. What amount of searching would stop that? If someone's determined to rob a store, they'll do it any damn way they can. What needs to happen is like another person said earlier ; start taking credit cards. It will pay for itself in the long run, square is a great company to use also. Worried about hackers ? Then invest in better security.

Cade Thompson
Cade Thompson

they must have missed the signs that say no guns! :-)

Chris Early
Chris Early

Rebecca Dangerfield how could you let this happen?

Joseph M. Adams
Joseph M. Adams

That really sucks. A ton. But if they search millions of people next year that will also suck. A ton.

Aimee Jackson
Aimee Jackson

Please somebody document this in crop art next year. The BEER booth workers were held up at the fair? Tied up wild wild west style? Tell me this is not crop art fodder.

Ross Levine
Ross Levine

Woah, they robbed the BEER shrine (as I call it)? This will not stand, that's a magical place that doesn't need to be sullied by crime and unhappiness.

Kirk Burback
Kirk Burback

Whether or not you like it, venders will be armed next year. You just wont know about it.

Chris Jarvis
Chris Jarvis

First time? 7 bucks for beer seems like robbery to me.

Shawn Lane
Shawn Lane

How do you get away with something like that at the state fair

kurt124
kurt124 topcommenter

How about a description of assailants Rupar?

Dallas Blake
Dallas Blake

We should probably allow thousands of guns to be carried in an area packed with children and families so that the cheese curd stand doesn't get hit in 2143 though

Dallas Blake
Dallas Blake

A single armed robbery in 129 years hardly seems unsafe

Greg Hernandez
Greg Hernandez

That's the sampling place, ding a ling. $8 for 4 tiny cups.

Greg Hernandez
Greg Hernandez

Of course, who are the crooks when 4 little cups of hit or miss (mostly hit) beer are $8?

TruDat
TruDat

@james_a_dawson

That would require actual reporting, not just getting "no comment" from the police. Usually, no description is a description.

midwestexplorer81
midwestexplorer81 topcommenter

@balls Ban the box doesn't prevent an online criminal record search so you can't blame this on politics. I believe people can be redeemed and should be given a "break" after time served and a few years after. I manage 20 people most days and don't do criminal checks, my gut and common sense tell me who the trouble makers are and I remove them immediately. My goal is to fire one person tomorrow and they will deserve it and it will be a legal reason. I work with Pols, Somalis, Mexicans, Nigerians, and the laziest of all, U.S. kids. Ban the box cannot stop me from doing a background check if I choose to.

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

@kurt124 Hey it's racist homophobe Kurt124. Haven't seen your fool ass around here for quite a while. Out of jail again?  

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