Police discuss problems with gaming machine thefts after thousands of dollars stolen from tavern

EAST COCALICO TOWNSHIP, LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. -- East Cocalico Township Police are searching for a man believed to be one of two people responsible for stealing more than $3,000 from a gaming machine at Cocalico Tavern in Lancaster County.

Patricia Noll, of Akron, charged with theft and criminal conspiracy.

Police are still searching for the second person caught on surveillance video.

According to police, in a surveillance video the bartender can be seen in the distance distracted by the female, while the man uses a tool to pry the machine open through a key hole, taking cash out unnoticed.  

“They looked like they were playing the machines and drinking and having a good time so I don’t think anybody paid any attention," said Sgt. Chris Progin, East Cocalico  Police Department. 

According to police, the owner of the tavern didn’t notice for a few weeks until an individual distributor that places PA Skills Gaming Machines in the tavern realized money was short.

Just last month, a similar case was reported in Ephrata.

“We didn’t know about these machines until the crimes were reported, we didn’t even know we had them in the township," said Pogin.

Tavern regulars say they are surprised to hear what happened. 

“It’s the same people over and over again coming here so it’s very unusual to see these two here," said Mariah Burgess.

Some feel the machines should be monitored better.

“The placement of the bartender should always be able to keep an eye on them because to me the machines shouldn’t be that easy to tamper with," said Adam Miller. 

The owner of Cocalico Tavern declined to comment. 

FOX43 reached out to Miele manufacturing — the master distributor for all Pennsylvania Skill Terminals in the state about the security of their systems, however we did not hear back.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.