Driving ranger robber arrested

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 7, 2010



HAHNVILLE – A St. Rose man accused of robbing the St. Rose Driving Range Monday morning was arrested Wednesday, according to a release from the Sheriff’s Office.

Meanwhile, St. Charles Parish authorities said they are also investigating an unrelated armed robbery of a pizza delivery driver that took place Wednesday evening.

Sgt. Dwayne LaGrange, public information officer for the St. Charles Sheriff’s Office, said Charles E. Tobias, 41, of 504 Club Drive, St. Rose, turned himself in around 11:40 a.m. Wednesday. Tobias had been wanted since Monday in connection with his alleged involvement in the driving range robbery.

According to a release from the Sheriff’s Office Tobias, a former employee at the range, entered the front office around 10 a.m. Monday and demanded money from the business safe. An employee put an undisclosed amount of cash in a plastic bag and handed it over to Tobias. He then locked the employee in the room where the safe is located and fled the scene in an unknown direction.

LaGrange said Tobias was booked with armed robbery and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He is being held at the Nelson Coleman Correctional Facility in Killona on a $500,000 bond.

In the Wednesday evening incident, LaGrange said the pizza delivery driver was walking back to her car after making a delivery in the 300 block of Club Drive around 8:40 p.m. when she heard someone yell out to her. The driver turned to look around, then looked back toward her vehicle to find the suspect pointing a gun at her.

“The suspect demanded that she hand over all the money in the vehicle, as well as her belongings,” LaGrange said. “The victim complied, put everything in a plastic bag and handed it over to the suspect.”

LaGrange said the victim told investigators she had seen another man standing near the scene but away from the gunman, possibly acting as a lookout. When the victim handed over the money, the men fled into a wooded area. LaGrange said deputies canvassed the area but could not locate either suspect. No description of either suspect was provided.

Anyone with any information on the robbery is asked to contact St. Charles Sheriff’s Detective Ben Schmitt at 985-783-1135 or CrimeStoppers at 1-877-903-STOP. Citizens who offer tips are allowed to remain anonymous.