Regional manager charged in armed robbery
A regional manager for Grand River Jackpot was being held in the St. Clair County jail Monday afternoon, accused of having a gun and robbing two of the company’s own couriers as they completed their route in Millstadt.
Grand River Jackpot provides video gaming machines to area businesses, including Breadeaux Pizza at 105 S. Jefferson Street in Millstadt.
James J. Deiters, 41, of Breese, who has since lost his job as regional manager, was arrested Friday and charged Saturday on charges of armed robbery, possession of a stolen license plate and resisting a police officer. As of Monday afternoon, he was being held in the St. Clair County Jail on $150,000 bail.
No court date has been scheduled but grand jury actions are pending, according to the St. Clair County Circuit Clerk website.
“This has come as a shock to all of us at Grand River,” said Ed Krempel, marketing director at Grand River Jackpot. “Totally out of character for the person that we thought we knew.”
Krempel had not spoken to Deiters since the regional manager’s arrest on Friday, he said.
Millstadt police say the suspect, whom they believe to be Deiters, approached a courier with the video gaming company Friday morning in the parking lot of Breadeaux Pizza. Police say he had a Ruger .45-caliber pistol and took cash from the courier. Another courier was inside the restaurant. They did not share how much money was stolen, Krempel said, out of concern for the company’s workers.
Police say the robber then drove away in a silver Nissan Versa, which was chased by several law enforcement agencies to Calvin Drive in Cahokia. Deiters was arrested in Cahokia.
“People tend to think they know your security protocols and how you handle things,” Krempel said. “But (courier) practices, policies and protocols are kept from the rest of the team members to prevent such a thing from happening.”
Grand River Jackpot is hiring for a regional manager for the Southern Region of Illinois, Krempel said. Deiters, who had worked there for about four years, no longer works for the company, he said.
Law enforcement in the Granite City area are investigating a similar crime that took place on Nov. 23. The Madison County Sheriff’s Office said two men showed a firearm to an employee who had just emptied money from gambling machines.