Prosecutors have charged a man with robbing customers of Rivers Casino on the Des Plaines gambling hall’s parking lot twice since August after casino security guards recognized him as a regular customer. Kenneth Lyke, 24, is also charged with robbing a suburban gas station where he was allegedly recognized because he used to work for the business.
The first robbery happened on August 18 after a customer cashed out $14,000 at the casino cage and made his way to the parking lot, Assistant State’s Attorney Calvin Astrella said during a bond hearing for Lyke on Saturday.
Lyke allegedly walked up to the victim, reached into the man’s pockets, and took the cash before escaping in a car with Tennessee license plates. Astrella said the robbery was recorded by the casino’s surveillance cameras, and a security guard recognized Lyke in the footage. In fact, the casino provided investigators with an image of Lyke’s identification card, which an employee scanned when he visited the casino one day earlier, Astrella said.
On October 13, a 67-year-old man parked on the Rivers parking lot and began walking toward the casino entrance when Lyke approached him, according to Astrella. Lyke allegedly reached into the victim’s back pocket and took his wallet, Astrella said. The victim tried to get his wallet back, but Lyke overpowered him, causing the man to suffer a swollen left hand and shoulder, Astrella said. Once again, the robbery was recorded by the casino’s surveillance cameras.
Two days later, Lyke walked into a gas station in Des Plaines and took $130 from the register, Astrella said. The store’s clerk, who recognized Lyke as a former employee, followed him and told Lyke to give the money back, Astrella said.
Instead, Lyke allegedly drove away while the cashier was holding onto his car door, causing the victim to fall and suffer abrasions to their knees and elbows, according to Astrella. The entire incident was reportedly recorded by the store’s cameras.
Judge Charles Beach ordered Lyke held in lieu of $230,000, meaning Lyke must pay a $23,000 deposit to get out of jail.
Last month, a man who identified himself as Cordero Supe told media outlets that he was robbed at gunpoint on the Rivers Casino parking lot after he walked out with $40,000 cash.
“I walked out and I was attacked by two young men in a blue four-door sedan,” he told Fox Chicago. “And they hopped out in the middle of the parking lot with a gun and told me to give them everything.”
The casino released a media statement after that incident in which it said the property had “indefinitely increased exterior security patrols” following Supe’s allegations.
Lyke is not accused of participating in Supe’s robbery.