AMITE — Tangipahoa Parish sheriff’s deputies arrested a 22-year-old man Wednesday accused in a convenience store burglary — possibly one of four similar cases — in which thieves used a mini-van to smash the store’s doors and ransack its ATMs.
Akeem Arsenio Hall Banks, of Hammond, was booked into the Tangipahoa Parish Jail on counts of burglary of a business and possession of stolen property, Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Dawn Panepinto said in a news release.
Banks was taken into custody without incident at a home in Amite.
Sheriff’s detectives were called to Chuck’s Quick Stop on Pumpkin Center Road on June 26 after the store’s glass front doors had been broken open and cash boxes from the store’s ATMs had been burglarized.
Surveillance video showed a silver minivan smashing the doors.
Two men seen inside the vehicle were wearing dark hooded sweatshirts, gloves and something covering their faces.
Authorities later found the minivan and sent it to the State Police Crime Lab for analysis.
Banks first became a suspect as a result of a Crime Stoppers tip that Hammond police received, Panepinto said. Authorities interviewed Banks and took a DNA sample from him.
State Police Crime Lab analysts told the Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday that Banks’ DNA matched DNA collected from the mini-van.
A warrant for Banks’ arrest was issued.
The Pumpkin Center Road ATM burglary is one of at least four such burglaries in the Hammond area that authorities are investigating.
Authorities have said the burglaries may be linked.
Authorities were working to identify additional suspects in the burglaries, Panepinto said.
The investigation is “highly active,” and additional arrests may be forthcoming, she said.
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