A man who robbed Corbin’s Off-Track Betting parlor last Friday has now been linked to almost identical robberies over the last year and a half in two other states, authorities say.
On Friday, Dec . 10, an unknown black man entered the facility on Cumberland Falls Hwy at about 10:05 a.m. and forced the manager and an employee into a back office and took an undetermined amount of money. He fled the store on foot.
The scenario is exactly the same as in four other robberies at off-track betting facilities in Indiana and Illinois says Corbin Police Capt. Tim Helton, who is leading the investigation for the Corbin, Williamsburg and Whitley County Investigative Task Force, a joint agency comprised of police departments from the county, both cities and Kentucky State Police.
“There’s no doubt he knew what he was doing,” Helton said. “Pretty much everybody has the same thing. Same pictures, same scenario, same everything.”
Surveillance camera footage showed him force the manager into a prone position on a couch in the office while the employee retrieved the money. No one was injured in the robbery and no patrons were present at the time. The incident happened before regular business hours.
Helton said police agencies in both Indiana and Illinois have surveillance footage that positively identifies the man as the same person who robbed Corbin Off-Track Friday.
The man is described as a black mail, 5-foot-4 to 5-foot-6, 200-220 lbs., in his late 20s or early 30s with short black hair and dark eyes. He was wearing a gray sweatshirt with navy sleeves, dark cloth sweat-pants with a pocket on the legs and black tennis shoes.
Police released still images captured from surveillance footage showing the robbery. He appeared to purposefully keep his back to cameras placed inside the facility at all times. Helton said the cameras are not hidden and are plainly visible to anyone in the building.
Helton said he has contacted the television show America’s Most Wanted in an effort to track down the suspect.
“If he’s that spread out, somebody’s got to know him,” he said. “He’s not wearing a mask in any of these [robberies]. They are all the same guy.”
Employees said they recognized the man’s face but do not know who he is. He had been in the facility a few times in the days leading up to the robbery, placing bets while there.
“He had been in there twice before the robbery which means he was scoping out the place.”
Helton said police are trying to determine how the man gained access to the building since it was not yet open to the general public. During normal operation hours, the betting parlor has a private security officer on duty.
Police have determined how much money was taken, but it is departmental policy not to release the amount stolen in any open robbery investigation.
“They had enough cash to start their business [that] morning. Exactly how much that is, I don’t know.”
Helton said only money from the store was taken. None of the employees themselves were robbed.
It’s likely, police think, that the man ultimately left the scene in a vehicle.
“Either he had a car parked somewhere in the area that was close or there was somebody waiting to pick him up.”
The Corbin Off-Track Betting Parlor handles about 200 to 300 customers daily and is one of five in the state that allows wagering on horse races. It is the first time it has ever been robbed, Helton said.
Anyone with any information regarding the case or the identity of the suspect is encouraged to call the Task Force at any of the following numbers: 606-528-1122, 606-549-6037, or 606-878-6622.
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