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18 April 2010

Australia's Own Bonnie And Clyde Pokie Bandits Caught, by Greg Tingle - 18th April 2010

Down under in Melbourne, Australia, a real life Bonnie and Clyde have been finally nabbed, after causing pokie hangout clubs and pubs hell. Australia's casinos can also relax a touch more now that the couple have been locked up.

Media Man and Gambling911 continue to probe the ever apparent connection between gambling and crime, not suggesting the readership does anything untoward.

Melbourne, Australia, was home to a real life, modern day Bonnie and Clyde! The pair went on a Pulp Fiction - Underbelly natured armed crime spree across the city, fessed up to their acts last week.

The Bacchus Marsh cunning couple, Raylene and Antony Szarvak, pleaded guilty to a lost list of armed robberies of pub and pokies venues in Melbourne's western suburbs. Crown Casino is said to be pleased the couple were caught.

Ms Sarvak, a 29-year-old mum described in court as a "homemaker", rode into town on a mean green motorbike with her hubby Antony and wielded a .357 Magnum revolver as the outlaws staged hold ups in the suburbs.

In one month the pair robbed five venues, crabbing $33,000 cash in the process.

Venues nabbed in their 15 tally score board include Glengala Hotel in Sunshine West, St Albans Sports Club, Deer Park Hotel, the Rifle Range Hotel in Williamstown, and Yarraville's Victoria On Hyde Hotel.

The County Court learned they frequently wore balaclavas, scarves and motorbike helmets.

Not to mince words on one hit Raylene warned "Don't touch it" as Antony pointed the loaded 30cm handgun at her. Other warnings she used included "I've got a gun, give me all the money or I'll shoot. This is not a joke."

The Armed Crime Taskforce nabbed the pair in August 2008 as the outlaws expanded into the eastern suburbs.

It was their Bakers Arms Hotel attempted heist job where the law caught up with them.
Two men attempted to run away but were tasered after Antony threw the Magnum gun into a garden bed.

The married bandits said their crimes were motivated by gambling, drug and unemployment issues.

Raylene initially pleaded not guilty in court but had to change her plea after her husband admitted his crimes to police.

She pleaded guilty to five counts of armed robbery, one attempted armed robbery and one conspiracy to commit armed robbery.

He pleaded guilty to six counts of armed robbery, one attempted armed robbery and one conspiracy to commit armed robbery.

The pair are due to be sentenced at a later date and Gambling911 will stay on the trail.

Prosecutor Jim Shaw recommended a range of 11 to 13 years for Raylene with a non-parole period of 8 to 11 years.

He recommended a range of six to eight years for Antony with a non-parole period of five to six years.

Readers, please don't getting any funny ideas if you watch Underbelly or Bonnie And Clyde. Happy hunting and good punting.

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

*Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company

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