Hammond man booked in crime spree

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 18, 2012



LAPLACE – A Ponchatoula man is facing various charges in two parishes after he allegedly went on a crime spree Thursday that began in Hammond and carried into LaPlace, according to St. John the Baptist Parish authorities.

After breaking into a Hammond home early Thursday morning, authorities said Durelle Jones, 24, kidnapped two women inside, robbed them and drove them to LaPlace, raping one of them along the way.

Capt. Dane Clement, spokesman for the St. John Sheriff’s Office, said the women were able to escape when Jones stopped for gas at a Circle K convenience store on U.S. 51 in LaPlace around 5 a.m. Clement said Jones fled the area on foot into a wooded area behind the store after he spotted a St. John deputy on routine patrol in the area. Authorities searched the area but could not find Jones.

About 30 minutes later, deputies responded to the intersection of U.S. 51 and Woodland Drive, where a 62-year-old man reported he was robbed shortly after reporting for work at a nearby water plant on Woodland Drive. Clement said the plant worker told deputies that a man armed with a gun entered an office and stole his wallet and ordered him to drive him to Hammond.

When the robbery victim stopped at the traffic signal at Woodland Drive and U.S. 51, he fled from the truck leaving it in drive. As he fled, the suspect, later identified as Jones, gained control of the truck and drove north on U.S. 51.

Clement said deputies used the truck’s OnStar remote monitoring service to locate the truck in the parking lot of a Hammond convenience store. When officers in Hammond approached Jones at the store, he fired on them, authorities say. The officers returned fire, striking Jones.

Jones was taken to a hospital in Hammond for treatment. Upon his release, he was booked into the Tangipahoa Parish jail on two counts of kidnapping, one count of aggravated home invasion, one count of rape and two counts of attempted murder of a police officer.

Clement said Jones also faces charges of aggravated kidnapping, armed robbery and aggravated battery in St. John Parish.