ELKO – Police are searching for two suspects who robbed a Dotty’s Casino on Mountain City Highway after spraying employees and patrons with what might have been bear spray.
Elko police Lt. Mike Palhegyi said the suspects entered the Dotty’s in the Smith’s shopping center at about 6:50 a.m. Friday.
The robbers “used a chemical agent, possibly bear mace, to disable the employees and patrons, and got away with an undisclosed amount of money,” Palhegyi told the Elko Daily Free Press.
Bear spray can have chemical concentrations that are much higher than pepper spray used for regular self-defense.
A few minutes after they fled the casino in a vehicle, police and firefighters were called to Dotta Drive on a report of a car fire. The robbers are believed to have set fire to the vehicle to conceal evidence, possibly fleeing from there in another vehicle.
Police are reviewing surveillance video from the shopping center for descriptions of the robbers, but Palhegyi said they were wearing clothing that concealed their identities.
The vehicle that was burned had local plates. Police do not know yet whether it was reported stolen.
The vehicle was destroyed by the fire.
Palhegyi was not sure if there were any injuries among the people who were sprayed.