Escapee caught after bank robbery

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 24, 2000

LEONARD GRAY / L’Observateur / May 24, 2000

ST. ROSE – An escapee from a federal penitentiary found himself in St. Roseon Monday and, within 17 minutes of allegedly robbing a local bank, found himself in custody.

“You don’t mess with St. Charles Parish,” Sheriff Greg Champagne said.Champagne reported that Noel Miller, 48, serving a 10-year sentence for bank robbery at the Cornel Correctional Institution in San Francisco, escaped May 10.

In the course of his six-day flight of freedom, Champagne claimed that Miller robbed one bank in California, two in New Jersey, the Hibernia Bank on Tulane Avenue in New Orleans and the Omni Bank of Metairie and was capping his Louisiana visit by robbing the First American Bank in James Business Park, St. Rose.Champagne said Miller entered the bank at 11:27 a.m., implied he had aweapon and made off with $2,000.

A witness saw Miller enter a waiting taxicab, which took him to New Orleans International Airport, minutes away.

By this time airport security personnel, Lt. Gil Schmidt of the St. CharlesSheriff’s Office and Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s personnel descended upon Miller at the Delta Airline ticket counter.

After brief resistance Miller was taken in custody at 11:40 a.m., Champagnesaid.

Miller was turned over to the FBI as a federal prisoner.

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