St. Charles seeking clues in string of robberies

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Staff Reporter

DESTREHAN – St. Charles Sheriff’s investigators are searching for clues in a string of armed robberies taking place in the parish over the past week, and officials are asking local business owners to be on alert.

Sgt. Dwayne LaGrange, a sheriff’s office spokesman, said the sheriff has beefed up security in the areas that have been hit, and is urging business owners and patrons to be on the lookout for suspicious activity.

“We’re just asking that people become more aware of their surroundings, especially until we arrest the individuals responsible,” LaGrange said. “Don’t hesitate to contact the sheriff’s office if you have suspicions.”

LaGrange said although it has not been proven that the crimes are related, investigators are looking into that possibility. He said the Sheriff’s Office does have a person of interest in the investigation.

“We are looking for information concerning a black male approximately 5 feet, 7 inches in height with a slim build and scruffy facial hair,” said LaGrange. “The subject was seen wearing a black hooded sweatshirt with an unusual large design on the back. This person was also seen entering a bright Red Dodge Charger with dark tinted windows.”

The first incident took place Tuesday of last week when a black male wearing tan pants, a black hooded sweatshirt, flip flops and sunglasses, entered Uniforms by Kajan, located at 13344 LA 48, around 10:10 a.m.

According to a Sheriff’s Office release, the suspect approached a female employee working behind the register, held a knife to her cheek and ordered her to empty the money from the store’s safe.

The report said the victim complied with the demand, and the suspect fled the scene in an unknown direction with an undisclosed amount of cash and the victim’s cell phone.

The following Thursday, sheriff’s deputies received a call that a Metairie man and a Kenner woman were robbed at gunpoint around 1:20 p.m. while working at Express Cleaners, 124 Longview Dr. in Destrehan.

A Sheriff’s Office report said a black male entered the business, pointed a gun at the workers, and demanded money. The male victim was forced to lie on the floor, while the female victim gathered the money.

Later that same evening, a Destrehan woman was robbed while working at Video Traques, located at 1955 Ormond Blvd., when two black males entered the store and demanded money from the register at gunpoint, according to a Sheriff’s Office report.

The report said once she complied with the demands, the suspects ordered her to the ground and tied her up. The victim was able to free herself a short time later and notify police.

LaGrange said there were no injuries in any of the incidents, because the victims involved obeyed the demands of the attackers.

“We always stress that if you are ever put in that situation, do what you are told to the fullest extent,” said LaGrange.

All three incidents are still under investigation. Anyone with information on the person of interest or the robberies should contact the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office at 985-783-6807 or dial 911 as soon as possible.