St. Rose Travel Center held up suspect still at large

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 2, 2007


Staff Reporter

LAPLACE – After staking out the St. Rose Travel Center — a gas station with a small, built-in casino on Highway US 61 – an unidentified man snuck into the back room, robbing the establishment with a handgun in his pocket, according the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office reports. The suspect remains at-large.

Sgt. Dwayne LaGrange of the Sheriff’s Office said the alleged robber had hung around the casino part of the travel center, playing video poker-type games, waiting for an opportunity to gain access to the St. Rose staff. Somehow, at some point he was able to slip through an ‘employees only’ door, and appear on the staff’s side of the center’s security system.

The suspect, identified as only a light-skinned male – Black, &#8220possibly Hispanic,” in LaGrange’s words – never actually brandished his gun at the employees during the robbery. He did however, carry an unknown handgun, and employees say they saw the gun’s wooden handle sticking out of his pocket: the implied threat was clear, LaGrange said.

Accordingly, the police have charged the suspect with armed robbery, though they have no significant leads or further physical description to report as of Wednesday.

&#8220My gut feeling tells me that if he pulls something like this off, he’s either done it before or has the capacity to do it again,” LaGrange said.