PROVIDENCE — The armed suspect who made off with $22,000 in one-dollar bills after robbing the Cadillac Lounge strip club has been identified by Providence police.
The robbery at the Charles Street club happed around 2:45 p.m., about 15 minutes before the club opened on Monday, owner Dick Shappy said. More than $25,000 in cash total was taken. No one was injured.
Jontay Goode, 30, is charged with first-degree robbery, a Providence police spokeswoman told the Globe Tuesday.
Shappy said he was at home Monday afternoon when he got the call from his manager with startling news.
“I’ve just been robbed at gunpoint,” Shappy recalled his manager saying.
The suspect knew the layout of the building and how to get out of the club quickly, and during the robbery specified a particular safe he wanted manager Ed Imondi to open at gunpoint, Shappy told the Globe.
“When someone’s got a gun, what are your options?” Shappy said.
After Goode was identified as the suspect, Shappy told the Globe that Goode was a bar back at the nightclub.
“I really didn’t think he could do something like this,” Shappy said.
Most of the money has been recovered Tuesday, Shappy said.
The suspect was seen in video footage dressed not at all for the cloudy and muggy weather or the venue: a jacket, a hat, jeans, sunglasses. According to a police spokeswoman, he had disguised his skin tone, tucked his hair under a hat, and was wearing a mask over his face.
In addition to $22,000 in one-dollar bills, the suspect also took $3,500 that the manager was in the process of counting at the time of the robbery, Shappy said. He ran out the door, jumped over a fence and then jumped onto the railroad tracks.
The club had a delayed opening Monday, Shappy said.
“After the police left, girls kept coming in, and I said let’s open,” Shappy said. “So we opened.”
On Mondays, the club obtains thousands of one-dollar bills from the bank for customers to use to tip dancers, according to The Providence Journal. The club buys back $1 bills from dancers throughout the week.
In all the decades in business at the Cadillac Lounge and a previous club, the Satin Doll, nothing like this has ever happened, Shappy said, including in the periods where the mob held sway over city strip clubs in exchange for protection money.
“In fact, that might have been the reason why we didn’t” have that experience in the past, Shappy said with a chuckle.
Shappy said business has been sluggish since reopening after nearly a year of pandemic closures, with fears of COVID-19 still lingering.
“They say things can’t get any worse, but they usually do,” Shappy said. “If it’s not one thing, it’s another.”
This story has been updated with additional details from the Providence police and from the business owner.
Brian Amaral can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @bamaral44.