Spate of crimes at banks unusual, BR police say
Detectives are scrambling to solve a rash of bank robberies and one bank burglary that occurred in East Baton Rouge Parish during the past eight days.
The most recent incident happened at 9:35 a.m. Monday at the IberiaBank branch at 7325 Highland Road, police spokesman Cpl. Thomas Stubbs said.
The red wig-wearing robber walked into the bank while armed with a gun and demanded money, Stubbs said. The man took an undisclosed amount of cash and fled.
According to surveillance images, the bank robber is a white man, between 5 feet 8 inches and 6 feet tall, and 210 and 220 pounds, Stubbs said. The man was carrying a dark-colored gym bag and was wearing a khaki hat, a long red wig, a blue long-sleeve shirt, blue jeans and purple gloves.
Authorities believe the person who robbed the IberiaBank could be the same wig-wearing robber who took money from the Regions Bank at 8756 Siegen Lane last week, said Stubbs and East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Casey Rayborn Hicks.
On April 30, a man walked into the bank just after 9:30 a.m., pointed a nickel-plated handgun at the teller, took an unknown amount of cash and put it in a black bag, Sheriff’s Office Col. Lawrence McLeary has said.
The man then ran into some woods behind the bank, which is near Perkins Road, where deputies and police dogs searched for him, McLeary has said.
The man was wearing a red wig, sunglasses and a long-sleeve denim shirt, McLeary has said. The robber is a white man, with a slim build and about 5 feet 9 inches tall.
Hicks said detectives do not believe the wig-wearing robber was involved in the Monday morning burglary of a Chase Bank on O’Neal Lane. The burglary happened at 3 a.m. at the Chase Bank at 1312 O’Neal Lane, she said.
A man wearing pajama pants and gardening gloves broke into a window at the back of the bank and opened a cabinet and drawer behind the bank’s main counter, Hicks said. No money was kept in the cabinet or drawer after business hours, therefore nothing was taken, she said.
Images from a surveillance video shows the person who broke into the bank was a thin, black man wearing a striped shirt, green and yellow pajama pants, black shoes, green gardening gloves and a black cloth item over his head, Hicks said.
The only arrest made in the recent bank crimes happened May 1, when Baton Rouge police arrested an Alabama man shortly after he allegedly held up the Regions Bank at 7777 Jefferson Highway.
Police found James E. Roberson, 34, 1063 Webb Road, Dothan, Ala., at the Alamo Plaza Motel on Florida Boulevard, Stubbs has said. Roberson was booked into Parish Prison on a count of first-degree robbery and on a count of being a fugitive from Alabama, where he is wanted for flight to avoid prosecution and escape.
Stubbs said the Police Department doesn’t work many bank robberies compared with the number of business robberies they see each year and that the only bank robberies they’ve worked this year are the ones that happened this month.
Hicks said the Sheriff’s Office has worked one bank robbery and one bank burglary so far this year, the same amount the office worked during the entire year last year.
Anyone with information about the incidents can contact the Sheriff’s Office at (225) 389-5000, the Police Department at (225) 389-2000 or Crime Stoppers at (225) 344-7867.