Metro-East News

Man charged with robbing fast-food restaurant

A 32-year-old man accused of robbing the Hardee’s restaurant in the 1500 block of Camp Jackson Road in Cahokia was charged Wednesday and was being held in the St. Clair County Jail on $50,000 bail.

Thomas Helms, 32, formerly a resident on Fox Meadow Lane in Cahokia, was charged by the St. Clair County State’s Attorney’s office with armed robbery. The robbery happened Tuesday.

A motorist, who was sitting in the driveway of the restaurant, saw a man dressed in all black with a handgun at the counter. The motorist drove away and called police, Assistant Cahokia Police chief Dennis Plew said.

At about the same time, an employee of the Hardee’s, who had been inside while the robber was there, fled through a side door and also phoned police.

A Cahokia police officer was in the area and was able to respond quickly to the business, Plew said. The suspect was running from the business when police arrived. Police ordered him to halt, and he complied, Plew said.

“The suspect was transported to the police department and put into a line-up. Employees from Hardees picked him out of a line up,” Plew said.

The suspect took a bank bag containing money from the restaurant. The bag and a handgun that police believe was used in the robbery were recovered. The suspect had tossed both as he fled the business, Plew said.