Four Texas men are accused of smashing display cases with a sledgehammer and stealing $69,000 worth of jewelry from a Louisiana store, and Texas police are reportedly investigating similar heists.
"We've had several agencies from Texas contact us, saying they've had a similar-type robbery with the same MO," Lacy Landrum, the city's director of administration, said in an interview Friday.
She said three men in hoodies smashed cases at the Kay Jewelers store in Hammond about 5:15 p.m. Thursday and drove off in a white Toyota Avalon with Texas plates. A bystander photographed the car as it sped off, and Baton Rouge police stopped it on Interstate 12 about 6 p.m., arresting four men, Landrum wrote in a news release Friday.
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Ellis Gholson, 43, Kameron McCoy, 21, and Travion Walker, 29, all of Houston, and Frederick Gibson Jr., 22, of suburban Fresno, Texas, were still in custody in Baton Rouge on Friday, Landrum said. Each faces an armed robbery charge in Hammond, and Houston police are among those investigating similar robberies, she said.
Hammond is about 44 miles north-northwest of New Orleans and about 300 miles east of Houston.