Philadelphia casino robbery suspects targeted patrons, employees: Police
Wednesday 19th February 2020
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Philadelphia police have announced the arrest of two men accused of following patrons and employees from Rivers Casino to their homes and robbing them.
Perry Kellam, 33, and Tyrone Tarpley, 38, were arrested last week and charged with multiple counts each of Racketeer-Influenced Corrupt Organization (RICO), robbery and conspiracy.
According to police, on 16 different occasions from November 2018 to February 2020, the victims left Rivers Casino, drove to their homes and were robbed as they got out of their cars in front of their homes. Two of the robberies occurred at gunpoint.
The robberies took place in various locations in Philadelphia, Springfield Township, Montgomery County and Tinicum Township, Delaware County.
According to police, all of the victims are of Asian descent.
"I think clearly they were targeted. In part because they're Asian," said Councilmember David Oh.
Oh, who has in the past, called for increased vigilance to protect Asian Americans from violent crimes, said he's troubled by these latest incidents.
"Asian Americans like other groups of Americans are often seen as easy victims, so it's good to be alert and careful," said Oh.
A Rivers Casino spokesperson released a statement saying, "The safety and security of our guests and team members is our highest priority. Our property is monitored 24/7 by state-of-the-art surveillance technology."
According to police, the 16 robberies took place between November 23, 2018 and February 10, 2020. The former Sugar House Casino, now known as Rivers Casino, had dealt with a string of patron robberies shortly after it opened 10 years ago.
The investigation involved Philadelphia police, the FBI and the Pennsylvania Attorney General's office.
Kellam had been arrested and charged for five similar crimes in 2013 and is the prime suspect in six other robberies.