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3 December 2003

CONNECTICUT -- As reported by Norwich Bulletin: ``When it came time to cut his losses, a 24-year-old Massachusetts man with an admitted gambling problem apparently just didn't know how.

``On the night of Sept. 26 and into the morning hours of Sept. 27, Bennie L. Evans sat at blackjack tables at Mohegan Sun and gambled away between $800 and $900 before leaving and sleeping in his car parked in the parking lot, according to a written statement he later provided police.

``…He allegedly stole a plate off a nearby SUV in the commuter lot and put it on his car. He pulled back into the People's Bank parking lot, pulled on a pair of Kenneth Cole sunglasses and grabbed a Mattel G.I. Joe toy gun from the trunk.

``…When he saw a woman pull in and withdraw money, Evans robbed her of the cash and pocket book, pointing the gun at her head before fleeing the scene, police said.

``With the woman's credit cards in hand, Evans went to various stores, bought DVDs and computer game systems and sold them on the street in Worcester and Fitchburg for a total of $240, Evans told police.

``There he said he lost the money playing blackjack and headed home.

``…State police Sgt. John J. Rich said it's one of several stories he's heard about robberies being committed because of gambling. But the top excuse continues to be substance abuse problems, he said.

``…The state problem gambling helpline is 1-800-346-6238 (or 1-800-34 NoBet)…"

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