NASSAU COUNTY, Fla. – An uptick in crime at adult arcades in Nassau County has county commissioners taking action.
On Monday, county commissioners voted in favor of a motion to put together an ordinance to consider the arcades as a public nuisance. They will then present that ordinance to the county at a special meeting at the end of the year.
In the past week, there were two armed robberies at two arcades in Nassau County. A security guard shot an armed suspect at the Tracks Arcade Sunday. Three people are in jail and another suspect is in the hospital after the crime.
Monday’s meeting was scheduled before the armed robbery at Tracks Arcade Sunday.
Since June, officials say there have been six robberies at arcades. Now, the county is taking action to make sure the game rooms are up to code.
Starting Tuesday, county officials said deputies, code enforcement officials and firefighters will be checking every adult arcade in Nassau County to make sure they’re up to code and have their permits.
Some property owners who lease their buildings to the arcades were not in favor.
“I can’t understand why you expect it to be a nuisance. Because we have a lot of people, a lot of good people come in. I just couldn’t see you shutting them down because you say it’s a nuisance," said Ken Braddock, Arcade Property Owner.
Since Duval County shutdown arcades in October, business has boomed for game rooms in Nassau County.
Commissioners said before Duval’s ban there were 14 arcades in Nassau County. Now there’s 32.
In the past three days, two arcades were robbed.
“What’s it going to take someone being murdered before you do something? Like in Jacksonville? People were murdered at café’s there and they finally said enough was enough,” said Seber Newsome III.
Commissioners said legally, the county can’t put a ban on the game rooms, but they efforting as many restrictions as they can to crack down on the crime.
They also want to meet with State Attorney Melissa Nelson about the crimes associated with the game rooms.