Crackdown on Crime - Masked Armed ATM Robbery - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Crackdown on Crime - Masked Armed ATM Robbery

By Lee Peck - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Since October, we've shown you bank surveillance video of a masked man, who police say is part of a trio holding a woman hostage to steal money from her ATM card.

"We learned that three males broke into this victim's home, waited for her until she got home, when she walked in she was thrown to the ground. Two of the masked men produced handguns and kept her there while they seized her purse," said Lake Charles Police Sergeant Mark Kraus.

Kraus says two suspects stayed behind with the victim,while the other got the cash.

The victim's vehicle was found not far from the scene, but it's what investigators found inside that helped them crack the case. "In that vehicle was a mask and some other paraphernalia used in the armed robbery. Our crime scene investigators located at the scene an identical mask - two days prior," explained Sgt. Kraus.  

DNA lifted off the masks, along with the call from a Channel 7 viewer, had police take a closer look at Richard Celestine, Jr. Six months after the robbery went down, Crime Lab DNA tests confirmed Celestine was at the scene that night.

"DNA does not lie, it's sometimes millions to one chances that this could not be Celestine. Well, we're going to bet on the million that it is," said Kraus.  

Celestine was arrested April 14th charged with armed robbery, theft and imprisonment, but hasn't ratted out his alleged co-conspirators.

"While Celestine sits in jail, his partners in crime need to know that we have not forgotten about this case. We will not forget about this case and the only time that we will put this case to bed is when those three people are all sitting in the Calcasieu Correctional Center and awaiting trial for these horrendous charges," said Kraus.  

Celestine is being held on 600-thousand dollars bond. Meanwhile, Detective Richard Harrell is the lead detective on this case. Anyone with information can call the Lake Charles Police Department at 491-1311 or Crimestoppers at 439-2222.

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • CNBC study ranks Louisiana 2nd worst state to live in

    CNBC study ranks Louisiana 2nd worst state to live in

    Thursday, July 20 2017 6:44 PM EDT2017-07-20 22:44:38 GMT
    (Source: Erica Bivens/KPLC)(Source: Erica Bivens/KPLC)

    Just a year after Louisiana was ranked as the 7th worst state for business, CNBC ranked the "Worst States to Live In 2017". Louisiana ranks 2nd worst. "That doesn't surprise me," said Alex Allemond. "I meet a lot of people at my job and they don't like Louisiana." The study's quality of life score is 87 out of 300 points.. A score Louisiana resident Jeff Staples disagrees with. "I think the quality of life is great," he said. "There's g...

    More >>

    Just a year after Louisiana was ranked as the 7th worst state for business, CNBC ranked the "Worst States to Live In 2017". Louisiana ranks 2nd worst. "That doesn't surprise me," said Alex Allemond. "I meet a lot of people at my job and they don't like Louisiana." The study's quality of life score is 87 out of 300 points.. A score Louisiana resident Jeff Staples disagrees with. "I think the quality of life is great," he said. "There's g...

    More >>
  • BREAKING

    Baby-sitter indicted in connection with death of Willow Molina-Renteria

    Baby-sitter indicted in connection with death of Willow Molina-Renteria

    Thursday, July 20 2017 6:39 PM EDT2017-07-20 22:39:44 GMT
    (Source: Facebook)(Source: Facebook)

    Willow Rain Molina-Renteria's baby-sitter has been indicted a year and two months after her death. A grand jury in Vernon Parish indicted Rodney D. Bailey Jr. on charges of second-degree cruelty to a juvenile and obstruction of justice. Bailey faces up to 80 years in prison if convicted. Bailey has been a person of interest since 2-year-old Willow was found dead in May 2016. Copyright 2017 KPLC. All rights reserved.

    More >>

    Willow Rain Molina-Renteria's baby-sitter has been indicted a year and two months after her death. A grand jury in Vernon Parish indicted Rodney D. Bailey Jr. on charges of second-degree cruelty to a juvenile and obstruction of justice. Bailey faces up to 80 years in prison if convicted. Bailey has been a person of interest since 2-year-old Willow was found dead in May 2016. Copyright 2017 KPLC. All rights reserved.

    More >>
  • BREAKING

    Two new arrests in N. Simmons Street homicide, one murder warrant recalled

    Two new arrests in N. Simmons Street homicide, one murder warrant recalled

    Thursday, July 20 2017 5:28 PM EDT2017-07-20 21:28:27 GMT
    (Source: KPLC)(Source: KPLC)

    Two more people have been arrested in connection with a homicide on N. Simmons Street early Monday morning, authorities said. But charges are being withdrawn against one of the people first arrested for the crime. Gary Obrien, 31, was shot when he refused to comply with a demand made by one of a group of males who were robbing the home, authorities said. Lake Charles men Devonta Deywane Orphey, 23, and Devin Jalmal Holefield, 25, were arrested Thursday afternoon in Waco, Texas, ...

    More >>

    Two more people have been arrested in connection with a homicide on N. Simmons Street early Monday morning, authorities said. But charges are being withdrawn against one of the people first arrested for the crime. Gary Obrien, 31, was shot when he refused to comply with a demand made by one of a group of males who were robbing the home, authorities said. Lake Charles men Devonta Deywane Orphey, 23, and Devin Jalmal Holefield, 25, were arrested Thursday afternoon in Waco, Texas, ...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly