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1 man arrested in store robbery; 2 more at large

Rebecca Burk Ellis / L’Observateur / July 17, 1998

LAPLACE – A LaPlace man was arrested and charged in connection with an armed robbery of a convenient store late Thursday night.

A cashier working the night shift at the Chevron Food Mart on U.S. Highway51 told authorities a man went into the store and said he had a weapon and would kill her if she didn’t give him all of the money in the register and the safe, Lt. Mike Tregre of the St. John Sheriff’s Office said.Tregre said the cashier turned over an undisclosed amount of money, and the man allegedly fled on foot to the parking lot of the Jet 24 convenience store next door, where he got into a dark colored pickup truck with two other men and drove away.

The cashier called the police at 10:51 p.m., Tregre said. At 11:03 p.m.,Deputy Conrad Baker spotted the truck on Airline Highway near BB’s.

He pulled the truck over and “at this point it only had one person in it – the driver,” Tregre said.

Baker took the driver, Sherman Watkins, 40, 135 Apricot St., LaPlace, backto the Chevron Food Mart, where the cashier identified him as one of the men in the truck.

Watkins was arrested and is being charged with principal to first-degree armed robbery, Tregre said.

The money had not been recovered by Friday afternoon, and an investigation is ongoing.

Anyone with information on the robbery or the other two suspects are asked to call the St. John Sheriff’s Office at 652-6338.

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