Casino Carjacking Leads To High Speed Chase

July 3, 2007
Reported By: Lee Peck

This 4th of July holiday, many people will try their luck at the boats. But around 1:30 Tuesday morning, the luck ran out for a 39-year-old man leaving the Isle of Capris Casino in Westlake.

"Three men approached him. They approached him with a gun and demanded his money and his vehicle," said Westlake Police Chief Jeremy Cryer.

Cryer says by the time they were contacted the three suspects had made their getaway heading east on Interstate-10 in the stolen dodge pick-up.

"We sent out information on the vehicle and a short time later it was spotted by the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office. A pursuit then ensued with the sheriff's office and Lake Charles and State Police," said Cryer.

After more than 30 miles of high speed chase, it was clear they had no intention of stopping. For the safety of other drivers, police threw out the road spikes causing the suspects to crash into a rice field in Roanoke. All three were arrested.

We contacted Isle of Capris concerning safety at the casino. They tell 7 News: "We have surveillance cameras and security teams on patrol around the clock but we can't always be everywhere. In this situation we immediately contacted authorities and are glad they were able to catch those responsible."

So for the three would be robbers -- who took a gamble -- Chief Cryer is betting their loss will send a warning to others. "Maybe some people who come down here will think twice before they try something like this again," said Cryer.

Police say no one was seriously injured in the crash. Two of the suspects are 13 and 16 years old. Their names are being withheld because they are juveniles. The third suspect has been identified as 17-year-old James Wood. All three are from Lafayette.