Woman, 55, suspected of stealing priest’s wallet

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 18, 1998

By Leonard Gray / L’Observateur / March 18, 1998

HAHNVILLE – Police in Norco on Monday arrested a woman suspected in the armed robbery Sunday of a Paradis priest.

Capt. Patrick Yoes of the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office confirmed thearrest of Diane Albright, 55, 179 Wyckoff Road, Piketon, Ohio, who was arraigned Tuesday on charges of armed robbery and possession of stolen property.

She was arrested late Monday night after a disturbance in the Spillway Bar, Airline Highway, Norco.

The Rev. James Moragne, 53, of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church inParadis was robbed at gunpoint Sunday at 12:42 p.m., apparently by afemale senior citizen, as he described her.

Yoes reported the priest had just eaten lunch at a nearby cafe and returned home Sunday when a 1980s-model Lincoln Continental pulled in behind him in his own garage.

The elderly woman driver beckoned Moragne to approach her car, at which time she drew a revolver on him and said, “Father, give me your wallet,” and robbed him of a small amount of cash from his wallet.

He complied, then went into his house, obeying her orders. She fled in anunknown direction.

She was described as being in her 60s, with gray hair, blue eyes and glasses. She was also described as having a heavy build.On Monday at 11:38 p.m., Glenn Weber prepared to close up the SpillwayBar when the woman at the bar asked for another beer. He refused and shepulled a .380 revolver and demanded the beer.He wrestled the gun away from her and threw her out, then called the sheriff’s office.

At 11:46 p.m., Albright was arrested at the East Guide Levee of theSpillway in Norco by Deputy Mike Bergeron and several other officers.

Yoes said she refused to get out of her 1984 Lincoln Continental Town Car at first and had to be removed by officers. A Ruger .357 revolver wasfound on the car seat.

The gun found in the car was later determined to have been stolen earlier in the day in Jefferson Parish, Yoes said.

Yoes said Albright’s criminal history includes arrests for forgery and grand theft. He added she is a suspect in armed robberies in JeffersonParish and in Lafayette, in the robbery of Father Moragne “and possibly more.”Albright was arraigned Tuesday morning before 29th Judicial District Judge Emile St. Pierre.

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