Police have arrested a man suspected of tracking and robbing a woman who won a double $18,000 jackpot at Prairie Meadows Casino (pictured) in Iowa. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
A violent interception
Police in Des Moines, Iowa, have arrested a man suspected of involvement in the violent armed robbery of a double jackpot casino winner while on her way home.
an attacker drove her off the road and robbed her
The unnamed woman was carrying $18,000 in cash she had won at the Prairie Meadows Casino, Racetrack & Hotel in Altoona when an assailant ran her off the road and robbed her. This happened around 3:15 a.m. Tuesday. Des Moines police eventually arrested Timothy Jacob Spencer at the same casino nearly 48 hours later on Wednesday night.
According to an indictment, the Berwick man saw the woman win two jackpots at Prairie Meadows on Tuesday, totaling about $18,000. The woman left the casino and was on her way home when two vehicles forced her off the road. According to the Des Moines Register, the driver of the second vehicle got out and banged on the jackpot winner’s passenger-side window.
Court documents allege that Spencer got out of his vehicle with a gun, walked to the victim’s window and shattered it before opening the door and stealing her wallet, which contained her winnings.
Suspect claims own jackpot win
Police used Spencer’s description of the victim to identify him through surveillance footage and arrested him at the Prairie Meadows casino Wednesday night. Police booked him into the Polk County Jail in the early hours of Thursday.
According to PlayIA, a search warrant on Spencer’s white Jeep Cherokee and trailer in Berwick yielded $3,000 in sharp $100 bills, 15 Oxycontin tablets and a 38 Special revolver in his bedroom. Spencer admitted to buying a new cellphone worth $400, but insists he is innocent of following the woman or stealing her money. All those sharp $100 bills, he said, came from his own $10,000 jackpot a few weeks earlier.
suggests he used cash to buy several phones for $500″
However, in the indictment, officers noted that Spencer’s route away from the Altoona casino placed him within miles of the crime. In addition, “a receipt found with his trailer suggests he used cash to buy several phones for $500,” the Iowa news source said.
Bail, soon to be heard
Officials charged Spencer with first-degree robbery and robbery, conspiracy to commit a violent crime, being armed with intent and controlled substance charges.
According to PlayIA, District Associate Judge Becky Goettsch has set a preliminary hearing date for August 1 for the trial. Spencer, who said he was unemployed in a lawsuit, has $60,000 bail. He has requested the court to appoint a lawyer on his behalf.
It is not yet clear whether the police have located the second suspect.
This post Police Arrest Suspect in Robbery of an Iowa Casino Winner
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