There’s been a lot in the press this last week about a pensioner who was mugged leaving a Mecca Bingo club in Manchester. Lees Bins was attacked from behind as he left the club, and had £1,000 of winnings on him at the time which were stolen. It was a bit of an ordeal for the D-Day veteran, and unfortunately one that happens on a regular basis to the frailer and older Bingo player. I remember the same thing happening at the hall I worked at back in 1990, this time with an elderly female who’d won a substantial amount of money.
In both these cases, it seems that the mugger had knowledge that the victim had won a good enough sum to warrant the crime. Unfortunately this is often the case, and there’s no way of guarding against these elements when you go to Bingo. At least, in the sense that they will know you’ve won and there’s nothing to stop them passing that information on.
I won’t go into what should be done to these cowardly muggers and the people who gave them their information here, I’ll let you use your imagination. Instead, there are actually steps you can take to avoid this happening to you in the instance you have a big win at a Bingo club and have to get home alone.
First up, many Bingo clubs will write you a cheque for your winnings (if they are large enough to warrant it) if you ask them too. It’s worth checking with your club ahead of playing just to see what the procedures are first and if they offer this option. Although this may not stop you actually getting mugged, if it does happen you know the robber won’t get any money for his trouble and the club can re-write you a cheque and cancel the stolen one.
The second option is to order yourself a Taxi, and wait for the driver to escort you to the car. If you’ve just had a big win, spending £10 of it to get the money home safely is a good investment. You could also ask a member of staff to escort you from the club to the taxi for added security. The type of low-life that would have the nerve to attack a pensioner on their own is not the type that would take on a pensioner and two other adults. Don’t be afraid to ask for this sort of help, the staff at the club should be happy to help.
If you don’t want to get a taxi, you could always call a friend or family member and offer them a few quid for petrol. Either way, it’s worth taking steps to protect yourself from this sort of opportunistic attack. It’s a sad fact of modern life that these sort of things happen at all, and I hope Lees gets better following his ordeal.