Birdie’s armed robbery suspect taken into local custody

Published 10:53 am Tuesday, February 3, 2015

By Stephen Hemelt

LAPLACE — A suspect wanted following a brazen armed robbery of a LaPlace convenience store Sept. 21 was transferred to local custody this week, authorities said.

St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies booked Kenneth Hayes III, 17, of New Orleans Monday on an arrest warrant for armed robbery.

Hayes had been incarcerated in Jefferson Parish and was transferred to the St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office Sherman Walker Correctional Center.

Deputies booked Hayes with two counts of armed robbery. He remains in custody in lieu of a $300,000 bond.

The violent episode began in St. John the Baptist Parish in the early morning hours Sept. 21, but quickly escalated into an all-out pursuit into Jefferson Parish and may have started with an earlier armed robbery in Ascension Parish, authorities said.

LaPlace victims told investigators two males entered Birdie’s, located at 483 Belle Terre Blvd., at 4:08 a.m.

One armed subject went behind the counter, pointed a gun at the cashier and demanded all the money from the registers and the cashier’s personal money.

The cashier complied, authorities said, and the other armed robber ordered a second employee to the floor. Both perpetrators fled the store with an undisclosed amount of money.

Investigators identified one perpetrator as Hayes, who authorities said left the store, driving a black Jeep Grand Cherokee north on Belle Terre Boulevard toward Interstate 10. The second gunman was with him.

Responding deputies positioned on I-10 eastbound at the U.S. 51 exit saw the vehicle and attempted to stop the driver, but the driver refused to stop and continued driving eastbound on I-10.

A computer check of the Jeep’s license plate revealed the vehicle stolen from Orleans Parish earlier that day.

The pursuit ended in Metairie at Causeway Boulevard, where the driver crashed into a Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office patrol unit.

“During the pursuit at the Causeway/I-10 interchange there, (the Jeep) exited at Causeway and got up in the grass area off the roadway and came to a stop,” Sgt. Dane Clement said.

“At that point, (the second gunman) fled the vehicle south over the fence that runs along I-10 across the frontage road. He eluded deputies.”

Authorities said the driver of the Jeep, identified as Hayes, was arrested at the wreck scene.

“That same night there was an armed robbery in Gonzales, and Gonzales police were here looking at video,” Clement said.

“It may be (the suspects) went to Gonzales and stopped in LaPlace, and that is when we hooked up with them.”

Detectives encourage anyone with information regarding the robbery to call the Sheriff’s Office TIPS line at 985-359-TIPS or Crimestoppers at 504-822-1111.

Crimestoppers tipsters do not have to testify in court and may qualify for a cash reward.

Residents can also submit tips at