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  NewslinkTwo men apprehended quickly after Des Allemands bank robbery

Leonard Gray / L’Observateur / June 29, 1998

DES ALLEMANDS – The First American Bank branch on U.S. Highway 90, DesAllemands, was hit by robbers just before noon Thursday.

Two arrests followed within minutes thanks to quick thinking by the bank employees, bank customers and a controlled, professional apprehension at minimal risk, according to Lt. Dwayne LaGrange of the St. CharlesSheriff’s Office.

LaGrange reported two black males entered the bank just prior to noon, displayed a note asking for money and implied they had weapons.

Ryan Anthony Tanner, 28, leaped over the counter, while James Patrick Williams, 19, walked around to take the undisclosed amount of cash.

Meanwhile, a bank customer was able to slip out unnoticed. He took downthe license plate number and detailed description of their green 1994 Toyota Tercel and called police.

After escaping from the bank with the cash, the pair drove east from Des Allemands. The second bank customer, meanwhile, recovered a smallamount of the cash which apparently fell from Tanner’s pocket when a red chemical dye pack exploded and returned it to the bank.

Deputies, armed with the vehicle description, picked up on the car as it passed through Paradis, called for backup, and followed it along U.S. 90,waiting for an opportune moment to make the stop.

Other deputies were preparing to block the highway ahead and sandwich in the pair. Other motorists, LaGrange said, “seemed to pick up thatsomething was up” and cleared out of the way of the police cars following the Toyota.

LaGrange said the vehicle was stopped in Boutte in front of St. CharlesPlaza Shopping Center. One suspect started to run but immediately gave upthe effort, and both surrendered. A search of the vehicle turned up thecash, but no weapon.

The vehicle was not reported stolen but apparently was the property of Tanner’s girlfriend.

“The Patrol, Traffic and Detective divisions each played important roles,” LaGrange said. “It was done very professionally. They did a fantastic job.”

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