The Tyler Police Department is making good on its promise to crack down on illegal gambling machines in Tyler.
Undercover officers seized five machines from a Valero gas station in the 3800 block of Chandler Highway (Texas Highway 31) and three more from a gas station in the 400 block of NNE Loop 323 early Saturday.
That followed the seizure of five gambling machines from a gas station Thursday, and officials said officers would continue a push to remove additional machines throughout the city.
Public Information Officer Lt. Don Martin released a statement Monday and said the department was flooded with phone calls Friday from residents, business owners and machine owners after they got news of the police department's investigations into the machines.
Due to the attention, officers discovered some locations already have shut down or pulled their machines before they were investigated, the news release stated.
Martin said businesses engaging in illegal gambling have led to a rise in robberies, and he noted recent aggravated robberies such as a laundromat that was robbed twice within a week.
At least one person has been arrested in relation to the possession of illegal gambling machines, which is a Class A misdemeanor. On Nov. 30, a man presenting himself as a pastor on social media was arrested at an address in the 800 block of Lindsey Lane matching a church.
Martin said more charges could be pending and more arrests may be made.
The cases remain under investigation.
The department has asked anyone in possession of illegal gambling machines to voluntarily comply with the law and remove the machines.
- Cory McCoy