Los Angeles police seized more than 130 allegedly rigged "Original Hollywood Crane" arcade games Saturday in a series of raids on the machine's manufacturer in Sun Valley and at convenience stores, coin laundries and bars.
More than 60 vice detectives served warrants at Hollywood Crane Merchandising Inc. on Lankershim Boulevard and at most of the locations where the firm has placed about 160 of the machines, said Detective John Lindsay.
In the game, players pay a quarter to manipulate a joystick that directs a claw inside a rectangular, glass-walled box filled with prizes, usually stuffed animals. Lindsay said the games are manufactured with devices that can be adjusted to weaken the tension in the claw, making it more difficult to secure a prize, or to shorten the length of time a person can play.
He called it a "high-tech improvement on the crane games predominant in the 1940s and '50s in which the prizes were sometimes glued to the floor of the machine." The games seized Saturday have been grossing up to $900 a week each, Lindsay said.
Although no arrests were made Saturday, Lindsay said that police planned to ask the city attorney's office to file misdemeanor charges against William Faith, the manufacturer.
No one was available at the firm for comment Saturday.