PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Police are investigating after a man robbed a Providence strip club at gunpoint Monday afternoon and got away with thousands of $1 bills.
Cadillac Lounge manager Ed Imondi was counting money in his office as he prepared to open the strip club when the suspect walked in and pointed a gun at his head.
“At first, I thought it was a joke,” he recalled. “He said, ‘This is a robbery.’ I said, ‘What?’ and he said, ‘I’m going to rob the place.'”
Imondi said he had one of the club’s two safes open and roughly $3,500 in his hand at the time, which the man took.
The man then demanded Imondi open the other safe, which contained $22,000 in $1 bills.
“He took all the ones, I could hear him stacking them into the big bag he had,” Imondi recalled. “Obviously, he knew we had a lot of money in there.”
“He loaded up the bag and said, ‘That’s it, don’t turn around. I’m leaving,'” he continued.
The man then left the club through a back door, hopped a fence and ran across the nearby train tracks, according to Imondi.
Imondi said the suspect knew the layout of the building, including which safe had the most money inside.
That’s one of the reasons why he and owner Dick Shappy believe it may have been an inside job.
“Why would you not care about the [safe] that I already have open? You can see there’s money in there,” Imondi said. “He said, ‘No, not that safe. I want the money that’s in that one.’ … What does that tell you? Somebody knows something here.”
Police detained a person of interest at a nearby Walgreens a couple of hours after the robbery. So far, no charges have been filed.
Shappy said in the 31 years that the Cadillac Lounge has been in business, he’s never experienced anything like this.