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Racino rob suspect nabbed

Amid security concerns, officials say more people visited Resorts World in July than any other casino in the state.
TimesLedger Newspapers

Millions of gamblers walked into Resorts World Casino to try their luck last month, but one high roller will likely end up behind bars.

The South Ozone Park casino announced the facility drew more than 1 million people in July alone, generating $59.8 million in revenue for the month. But ahead of those numbers, a man accused of a daring daylight robbery at the casino in June was nabbed in Pennsylvania last week, according to a report from the Queens district attorney’s office.

District Attorney Richard Brown said Aug. 1 that Kevin Lides, 23, was busted for the alleged crime after fingerprints on a note handed to a teller at the casino matched that of Lides. The suspect was taken into custody July 31 in Monroe County, Pa., for extradition to New York.

“The defendant is accused of brazenly walking into a crowded casino on a Friday afternoon and demanding money,” said Brown. “The odds of getting away with such an alleged crime were stacked against him, and his long-overdue arrest proves the old adage you can run, but you cannot hide.”

Brown said the suspect, from Briarwood, is charged with first-degree robbery and second-degree grand larceny. If convicted, he faces up to 25 years in prison, according to the district attorney’s office.

According to a police report, Lides allegedly approached the second-floor cashier’s cage at Resorts World on the afternoon of June 29 and handed a female teller a note demanding money and stating she would be killed if she did not comply. Lides allegedly told the teller he had a gun and reached under his shirt, cops said.

Lides allegedly walked away with $63,000, according to cops.

Brown said the Pocono Mountain Regional Police Department, the Monroe County district attorney and the U.S. Marshals Service’s Regional Fugitive Task Force were instrumental in the suspect’s apprehension.

Resorts World spokesman Stefan Friedman said the casino’s surveillance system facilitated the suspect’s arrest.

“This arrest proves that our surveillance system is working. Through close collaboration with the NYPD and the information revealed on our state-of-the-art, on-site surveillance technology, we were able to assist the police in apprehending the suspect,” he said. “Our first priority has always been the safety of our guests, and though we are extremely proud of our outstanding record, we are constantly refining our efforts to ensure 100 percent security.”

And if the casino’s staggering July numbers are any indication, its security system will continue to be heavily tested.

“With more than a million people coming through our doors in July, it’s clear that New Yorkers and tourists alike are aware that they no longer have to get on a highway or airplane to have a wonderful, world-class gaming experience right here in Queens — minutes, not hours away,” said Michael Speller, president of Resorts World. “We look forward to working with the state in the coming months to determine how we can further maximize tax revenue to the state, particularly to the state’s education fund.”

Reach reporter Steve Mosco by e-mail at smosco@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4546.

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