'Career criminal' arrested in Gretna bank robbery

Published: Sep. 22, 2015 at 12:23 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 22, 2015 at 12:26 AM CDT
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GRETNA, LA (WVUE) - A man police are calling a career criminal robbed a Gretna bank Monday but was arrested in a matter of hours, according to Deputy Chief of Gretna Anthony Christiana Jr.

At about 2 p.m. a man walked into the Capital One branch at 91 Westbank Expressway and demanded money from a teller, saying "this is not a joke." When the teller hesitated, the man raised his shirt to reveal a silver and black handgun. The teller opened her drawer and removed money and a dye pack. The suspect removed the dye pack and threatened to shoot the teller if she tried to give it to him again. The teller then handed over an undetermined amount of cash.

A second bank employee approached with cash and the suspect again demanded money. The second employee handed over a stack of cash. The suspect then walked out of the bank.

A few minutes after the robbery, a woman reported her car being struck at the corner of Stumpf and Westbank Expressway by a white male in a gold SUV. The woman was able to take down the Texas license plate number and gave it to police.

Westbank Major Crimes Task Force Investigators and Gretna Police Department detectives canvassed the area and found the suspect's vehicle parked at an apartment complex at 640 Westwood Drive in Marrero. Residents of the apartment complex were shown a surveillance photo taken of the suspect at Capital One and identified him as the driver of the vehicle.

The suspect was then seen coming out of a bar in the 6900 block of Westbank Expressway in Marrero. He was found to be in possession of a large amount of money and was arrested just after 5 p.m..

The suspect was taken to the Gretna Police Department, where police said he gave a confession admitting to the armed robbery.

The suspect initially identified himself as 63-year-old Ronald Marcello. During the course of the investigation his real name was found to be Ronald Doyle Hillis, a habitual offender.

Investigators discovered that Hillis has served more than 30 years in prison for various robberies and burglaries in Texas and Missouri. He is currently wanted out of Conroe, Texas for armed robbery and a parole violation for burglary.

Hillis was booked with armed robbery and being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. Texas authorities have been contacted about extradition.

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