Woman fugitive in Port Allen drugstore robbery arrested

A woman implicated in the Jan. 21 armed robbery of Noah’s Pharmacy in Port Allen surrendered Friday to the West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff’s Col. Richie Johnson said deputies believe Jacqueline Hawkins-Young, 55, 979 Avenue C in Port Allen, is the previously unidentified woman driving a getaway car during the armed robbery.

Investigators identified Hawkins-Young as the former wife of Ray Charles Hayes, 50, of Port Allen, the man suspected of committing the robbery of Noah’s Pharmacy. Hayes was shot and killed as he threatened the life of a hostage during his failed getaway attempt.

Deputies said previously that they spotted a woman parked in a car behind Noah’s Pharmacy when they arrived on the scene after receiving a call from a witness who reported seeing a man wearing a ski mask enter the drugstore.

“She was waiting outside during the robbery to be his getaway driver,” Johnson said Friday, referring to Hawkins-Young. “Once the robbery was interrupted by police, she left him there.”

Officers with the Brusly Police Department, Addis Police Department, Louisiana State Police and the West Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office observed Hayes, after binding four drugstore employees with duct tape, leaving the drugstore with a pillowcase later found to be stuffed with drugs and money.

When Hayes spotted the law enforcement officers, he went back inside the drugstore, but left moments later with a woman hostage whom he forced into an Addis Police Department vehicle before taking off at high speed on La. 1 with authorities in pursuit.

Authorities shot and killed Hayes after the stolen police car went out of control and overturned in the highway’s median.

Hayes had threatened to shoot the hostage and then himself, police previously reported.

Hawkins-Young was arrested and booked into the West Baton Rouge Parish Jail Friday on counts of principal to armed robbery, principal to second-degree kidnapping and principal to second-degree murder.

Johnson said Sheriff’s Office investigators waited four months before issuing an arrest warrant for Hawkins-Young because they wanted to be certain they had evidence linking her to the armed robbery of Noah’s Pharmacy.