Reserve man arrested for bank robbery

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 13, 2009


A Reserve man accused of robbing a LaPlace bank Thursday afternoon was apprehended in New Orleans just a couple hours after the heist, said authorities with the St. John Sheriff’s Office.

Michael Nelson, 46, who was caught on the bank’s surveillance camera, was arrested by New Orleans Police officers sometime around 5 p.m. Thursday, said Maj. Robert Hay, commander of the St. John Sheriff’s Office Investigations Division. Hay said Nelson is accused of robbing the Whitney Bank branch in the 400 block of Belle Terre Boulevard around 2:40 p.m. Thursday.

Hay said the robber, a bald-headed black male with a grey goatee, who fit the description of Nelson, approached the bank’s desk and handed the teller a small note. The exact contents of the note were not available, but Hay said the note indicated that the bank was being robbed.

Hay said the teller behind the counter presented the robber with a brown paper bag with an undisclosed amount of cash inside. Upon receiving the money, Hay said the robber, who was unmasked and wearing a blue jogging suit with black stripes on the sleeves, fled the bank on foot toward a silver or grey midsized vehicle parked just north of the bank.

The vehicle sped off heading west on Fairway Drive. It is unclear whether the man was driving the car.

The FBI and the St. John Sheriff’s Office are still investigating the incident. Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 985-652-6338, the FBI at 504-316-3000 or Crime Stoppers at 504-822-1111.