Two men were arrested Wednesday in the armed robbery of at least five area businesses during the past two weeks, Sheriff’s Office spokesman Col. Lawrence McLeary said.
Javier Esteves Torres, 46, and Gilberto Rivera Vega, 33, are accused of holding up Southern Cross Wireless, 12871 Perkins Road; Radio Shack, 19970 Highland Road; Albertson’s Grocery, 99990 Bluebonnet Blvd.; Boost Mobile, 13247 Perkins Road; and Radio Shack, 3432 Drusilla Lane, between April 17 and Wednesday, McLeary said. The men, who were armed with handguns, stole items such as cellphones and cash, he said.
Torres, 8686 Coy Ave., Apt. 100, and Vega, 8757 Granite Ave., Apt. C, were booked into Parish Prison on five counts of armed robbery. Additional charges are pending.
Authorities arrested at least four people suspected of driving while intoxicated in East Baton Rouge Parish and booked them into Parish Prison between 2:30 p.m. Wednesday and 2:30 p.m. Thursday, booking records show.
Those booked and the counts against them:
An armed man who tried to rob a Choctaw Drive grocery store Wednesday and exchanged gunfire with an off-duty police officer was arrested shortly after fleeing the scene, police spokesman Cpl. L’Jean McKneely said.
James Sterling, 22, walked into the Piggly Wiggly at 3880 Choctaw Drive just after 8:30 p.m. and tried to rob the store, McKneely said.
An off-duty officer wearing civilian clothes and working security at the grocery store saw the attempted armed robbery and identified himself to Sterling as a police officer, McKneely said.
Sterling then fired at least two shots at the officer, McKneely said. The officer fired back. Neither was injured.
Sterling, 1412 N. 31st St., ran away from the store, McKneely said, but was later caught and booked into Parish Prison on one count each of attempted armed robbery and attempted murder of a police officer.
The officer, whose name has not yet been released, is a sergeant and a 20-year veteran of the Police Department. He is on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure after an officer fires his weapon.
Compiled from staff reports. To talk to a crime reporter at The Advocate, call (225) 388-0369.
Copyright © 2011, Capital City Press LLC • 7290 Bluebonnet Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70810 • All Rights Reserved