1 suspect caught, 1 sought in armed robbery spree - FOX 8, WVUE, fox8live.com, weather, app, news, saints

1 suspect caught, 1 sought in armed robbery spree


“This morning, we were just sitting out here enjoying the morning. I was totally relaxed,” said the victim of one of several robberies that happened Thursday night and Friday morning.

The man said was simply drinking his morning coffee on the front steps of his Willow Street home when his friend, sitting next to him, started screaming.

“I didn’t know what she was screaming about, and suddenly there’s a man with a gun pointed at her," the victim said. "I jumped up and said, 'What are you doing?' He pointed it right at my head, about two inches away and said, ‘shut the (expletive) up or I’m going to blow your head off.'

The victim says he wasn’t taking any chances, so he backed down and the gunman snatched the woman’s purse and took off.

“This has never happened. I’m an old man, and this has never happened to me,” he said.

As it turns out, police believe the same gunman was responsible for eight other armed robberies. He is also seen in ATM surveillance video taken earlier this week.

Detectives say gunman first struck Aug. 8, when he allegedly walked up to a woman sitting on her Walmsley Avenue porch, struck her with a gun, took her purse and demanded her PIN number.

There’s also video of the same man robbing the Magnolia Express on Airline Highway, police said.

Police said the suspect has an accomplice, Larry Vail, who is now in custody. Police say Vail and the wanted man shoved a gun in a woman’s face in the 5300 block of St. Charles Avenue Thursday night and demanded her keys.

“A Honda CRV was taken in that armed robbery. Our detectives got into a car chase with that vehicle. The vehicle escaped, but one individual did bail out of the vehicle when we were chasing it. We captured him. His name is Larry Vail,” said Second District Commander Paul Noel.

Investigators say Vail and the man in the video are brazen. Their alleged crime spree started Saturday on Walmsley. They’re accused of committing four armed robberies on Sunday, and then on Tuesday night, police say they pistol whipped a young woman on Audubon Boulevard, stealing her purse.

Then, they allegedly struck three more times overnight in the Uptown neighborhood.

“So, there’s at least one individual still at large. It’s the skinny individual with the lips on his shirt. He got away. We are still hunting him down,” Noel said.

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