NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - An "immediate and aggressive" police response nabbed the man police say is responsible for robbing three convenience stores in Mid-City.
Judah Mason, 28, is in police custody after he allegedly robbed three convenience stores in Mid-City in the early morning hours of Nov. 4.
Mason's alleged robbery spree started at the Orleans Grocery Center around 2 a.m. According to NOPD, Mason entered the store and pulled out an assault rifle and demanded money from the clerk. The store clerk complied and gave Mason several cell phones and over $2,000 in cash. He warned witnesses in the store that "if you call the police, I'm coming back," then fled the area on foot.
Mason made his next stop at the Ideal Gas Station about an hour later. According to NOPD he entered the store wearing a ski mask, armed with the same assault rifle he used earlier, and forced the customers onto the floor. Mason demanded money from the store clerk, but the employee instead jumped over the counter and grabbed a second gun that Mason was carrying. A struggle ensued and multiple rounds were fired into the floor. Mason eventually took back his second weapon and grabbed an unknown amount of cash from the register before running out of the store.
The store clerk gave chase, but Mason allegedly opened fire on him, causing him to duck for cover. Witnesses say he drove off in a white sedan. Police say no one was injured during the robbery.
Mason made his third, and final, stop about an hour later at the Banks Meat Market. Officers responded to the report of an unknown black male with a gun standing inside the store. When they arrived, officers saw Mason with a pistol in his hand robbing the store. According to NOPD, both officers ordered Mason to drop the gun, but a brief struggle ensued and police were able to apprehend Mason without further incident.
During the course of the investigation, detectives recovered two guns, including the assault rifle, large amounts of cash, several cell phones and other items stolen from the stores. They also found a ski mask, tennis shoes and marijuana inside Mason's backpack.
Police say victims from each incident identified Mason as the man that robbed them.
Mason will be charged with Attempted Murder, Aggravated Assault, Use of a Firearm During an Armed Robbery and multiple counts of Armed Robbery.
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information on these incidents is asked to call CRIMESTOPPERS at 822-1111 or toll-free 1-877-903-STOP.