Are internet cafes magnets for crime?

Customers, retired officer tell I-TEAM money is motivator at sweepstakes

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Internet cafes are seemingly a bull's-eye for bad guys.

The News4Jax I-TEAM began looking into the reason why internet cafes are frequently held up after Wednesday's chaotic crime spree that started Wednesday afternoon when, according to police, an armed man robbed the Lucky Charms Arcade, an internet cafe on Mayport Road.

It's not the first time the business has been robbed. People who frequent the internet cafe say it’s an easy target.

"(I come) to get money -- like everyone else," said Ivory Washington, a customer at Lucky Charms Arcade.

Customers say money is the motivator at internet cafes. Customer James Natale estimated how much money he thinks comes through the doors of Lucky Charms Arcade on any given day.

"From my pocket, a lot," Natale said. "As far as other people, I'm sure a lot, too. I'd say probably a couple thousand, maybe."

It could be the reason why the Lucky Charms Arcade has been robbed twice in a span of about two months. Police are stilling looking for a man who they say robbed the location in November

On Nov. 1, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, the man entered the Lucky Charms Arcade, sat at a gaming table and, while an employee was occupied, he showed a handgun and demanded money. After getting the money, the man ran from the area, police said.

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