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Lake Charles Police arrest serial armed robbery suspect

Published: Jul. 22, 2013 at 11:46 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 21, 2013 at 11:46 PM CDT
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Javon Keith Kennerson (Source: Lake Charles Police Department)
Javon Keith Kennerson (Source: Lake Charles Police Department)

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Lake Charles Police have arrested a suspect in 15 armed robberies.

Lake Charles Chief Don Dixon said officers arrested Javon Keith Kennerson in an armed robbery that occurred at 2:43 p.m. Monday in the 3800 block of Ryan Street.

A high-speed pursuit ensued with Kennerson, who was driving a white van. The van crashed into a utility pole near the intersection of Prien Lake Road and Lake Street. Witnesses tell 7 News that Kennerson exited the vehicle and took police on a short foot pursuit before he was apprehended and placed under arrest.

"After he crashed into the pole, I saw him dive out of the vehicle. And the here comes more cop cars and they were chasing him on foot. He was weaving in and out of the cars going toward I-210. It was like something out of a movie - it really was," said Carliss Manuel. "I had no clue what was going on or why they were chasing him, but I knew he was in a lot of trouble."

Kennerson is being charged in the armed robbery on Monday and is a suspect in 14 others throughout Lake Charles, Westlake and Sulphur. Dixon said some of the robberies date back to October, November and December of last year. Kennerson is also believed to have used a stolen vehicle in Monday's robbery before ditching it for the white van.

According to Dixon, they have been watching Kennerson as a suspect in the robberies since last Thursday. His arrest is the result of hundreds of man hours and 16 straight days of surveillance on area convenience stores.

"We started setting up in stores, literally putting SWAT teams in stores. We were surveilling stores across the street. We were set up last week ... we had seen a pattern and he had not hit in 12 days. We had 51 officers out last Monday night in the City of Lake Charles -- 51 officers -- and he hit Sulphur. We were kind of disappointed, but we knew he would hit again," said Dixon.

Dixon said in each robbery, Kennerson was armed with a long barrel revolver and wearing a mask.

"This was a very dangerous situation. He would go into these stores with his hand on the trigger and one false move could have had some serious consequences," said Dixon.

Dixon said they realized there was a pattern after he robbed the Subway store on Ryan Street twice within a week back in May.

Dixon would not comment on whether or not officers had recovered the revolver or not, but said they are in the process of getting search warrants.

Dixon thanked area convenience store owners for their cooperation in this investigation.

Mayor Randy Roach thanked the officers for the long hours and hard work.

"This community is a safer place because of what you have been doing the last several days. And I say that not because you caught somebody. I say that because you are willing to do what you had to do in order to catch somebody," said Roach.

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