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Woman Beaten, Robbed In SugarHouse Parking Lot

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- What was supposed to be a night of fun became a nightmare. A trip to a Philadelphia casino turned into a trip to the hospital after two robbers attacked a woman and her friends.

It happened just after midnight Friday in a parking lot at the SugarHouse Casino.

According to one of the victims, who wished to remain anonymous, she and her friends had just gotten out of their car when they were confronted by two men at gunpoint. The victim told Eyewitness News the robbers demanded money and she says when one of her friends refused to hand over her purse, one of the suspects pistol whipped her friend in the back of her head before taking off with her purse, their wallets, cell phones and more than $300 in cash.

The victims' friend needed stitches for her injury.

The victim says she was able to take down the getaway car's tag number. Police later told Eyewitness News the vehicle they are trying to track down is a 2001 silver Pontiac Bonneville with a PA license plate: HGG-2937. According to police, the car was stolen in a carjacking in Darby just hours before the SugarHouse robbery.

"This is the first robbery. There are two thefts from autos, one vandalism since SugarHouse opening," Lt. Ray Evers with the Philadelphia Police Department said.

In October, there was an attempted robbery of a man who had just won $2,000 at the casino. The casino video shows two men following the victim out of the casino and into the parking lot. The victim told police the two men followed him home and tried to rob him there, but he was able to fight off his attackers.

"Truthfully, this is not where I would want to commit a crime," Anthony DiLacqua, the director of Security at SugarHouse said.

According to DiLacqua, there is a fleet of casino, city and state police officers patrolling the premise round the clock and more than 500 cameras installed inside and outside the casino.

DiLacqua explained, "To make sure our guys were out doing their job, I went through the video and I was able to confirm this lot was covered at the time of the robbery. Unfortunately, we weren't in that particular parking spot at that time."

"Unfortunately, from the angles of the video, there's video of the incident, but there's no way we can make identifications of the males," Lt. Evers added.

So, police are turning to the public for help and are asking anyone with information to contact the East Detectives at (215) 686-3243 or 3244.

In the meantime, casino officials say they will review this incident to see what, if any, changes are necessary to better protect their visitors.

Reported By: Paul Kurtz, KYW Newsradio, Elizabeth Hur, CBS3

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