DES MOINES, Iowa (WHO) — Police in Iowa arrested one of the men they say was responsible for a terrifying robbery of a woman who had just won a significant amount of money at Prairie Meadows Casino.
The victim won two jackpots at the casino totaling more than $10,000, Sgt. Paul Parizek of the Des Moines Police Department said. She was driving home early Tuesday morning when her car was forced off the road by two vehicles.
Police said 30-year-old Timothy Spencer, of Berwick, was driving one of those vehicles. Spencer allegedly had a handgun when he exited the vehicle and hit the driver-side window of the victim’s vehicle, shattering it. Parizek said Spencer then opened the door and grabbed the victim’s purse, which contained her winnings from the casino.
The other suspect was driving the second vehicle that forced the woman off the road. She told police he got out and was pounding on the passenger side window. The woman was not hurt during the incident.
Using a description of the suspect provided by the victim, investigators were able to find Spencer on surveillance video from Prairie Meadows, according to police records. The video showed he was near the woman in the casino when she won her jackpots. Spencer also, “continued to surveil the victim and exited the casino around 3:00 a.m., which was around the same time the victim exited,” the criminal complaint reads.
Spencer was taken into custody at Prairie Meadows Casino Wednesday night. Search warrants executed in the case turned up $1,000 in cash and a bottle of oxycodone he did not have a prescription for in his vehicle, police said.
At Spencer’s home, another $2,000 in cash and a silver .38 Special revolver were recovered. In an interview with police, Spencer denied robbing the woman and said the cash in his possession was from a $10,000 jackpot he won at Prairie Meadows several weeks ago.
Spencer was being held in the Polk County Jail on charges of first-degree burglary, first-degree theft, going armed with intent, conspiracy to commit a forcible felony, and possession of a controlled substance. Sgt. Parizek said the second suspect in the robbery had not been arrested yet.