Law enforcement foils armed bank robbery

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 7, 2002

WOODVILLE &045; Good timing and a quick reaction by two local law enforcement agencies led to the arrest of three Louisiana men who allegedly robbed the local branch of Concordia Bank and Trust, Co. late Friday morning.

Two of the robbers reportedly entered the Main Street bank wearing black ski masks and carrying 9 mm pistols, while a third suspect waited outside in a blue and gray Oldsmobile, police said.

&uot;One of them jumped over the tellers’ counter and took cash from the drawers,&uot; Woodville Police Chief James Forman said.

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A bank employee called 911 at 11:05 a.m. to report the robbery.

&uot;Employees at the bank watched the three drive away after the robbery, and they gave the dispatcher a description of the car and the direction they were going,&uot; Forman said.

The suspects reportedly fled the bank, driving west down Main Street and turning on to First West Street at Planter’s Hardware.

&uot;The 911 dispatcher did a good job relaying the information to us, and we had some local citizens come forward with information that helped,&uot; said Forman.

WPD officer Nolan Thompson and Wilkinson County Sheriff Reginald Jackson &045; who happened to be nearby visiting a sick friend &045; were among several officers from both agencies who quickly joined in the brief chase through town.

Jackson and Thompson were able to follow the suspects until they wrecked the Oldsmobile in a ditch on First West Street.

&uot;We handcuffed two of the suspects at the scene of the wreck, but a third suspect ran from the scene.

I chased that suspect and apprehended him a few minutes later on College Street near Highway 61,&uot; Jackson said.

Forman identified the robbery suspects as Leroy Payne, 50, of 702 N. 25th St., Baton Rouge, La.; Everett Earl Parker, 54, of 7144 Juno St., Baker, La.; and David Raymond Raby, 38, of Baton Rouge.

&uot;The suspects have all been transferred to federal custody.

They will face federal charges related to the bank robbery, and they may also be charged locally with armed robbery,&uot; Forman said.

Forman said an undetermined amount of cash was taken in the robbery, but he said he believes most of the money was recovered.

&uot;Information from this robbery will be shared with other law enforcement agencies to see if any similarities exist with other area bank robberies,&uot; Forman said.

FBI agents arrived in Woodville at about 2:30 p.m. and began interviewing witnesses and examining evidence in the case.

After the robbery, Concordia Bank official Buz Craft greeted customers at the door, explaining the bank would be closed until Monday and directing them to the Natchez branch office.

&uot;We’re just tickled that no one got hurt in this incident,&uot; Craft said.