It’s been over a month since two suspects armed with semi-automatic handguns strolled into the Westlake branch of Whitney Bank on Sampson Street and committed a brazen holdup.
A month into the investigation, the Westlake Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division is asking for the public’s assistance in obtaining a break in the case.
“We have been searching for these suspects and we are having a hard time coming up with information,” said Det. Curtis Lyons of the WPD. “We are now stretching our investigation and asking for help from Beaumont to Lafayette and as far north as Alexandria. If anyone knows anything, we want them to talk to us.”
What the WPD knows now, two individuals walked into the bank and requested money from the tellers at approximately 10:30 a.m. on October 12. According to a press release from the WPD, while the first suspect was at the counter demanding money, the second suspect was removing items from an employee’s purse. The second suspect located the keys to the employee’s car, which was used as the getaway vehicle.
That stolen vehicle was later recovered a short distance away from the scene of the crime.
The WPD was given descriptions of both suspects and they are likely hispanic between 5-5 and 5-8 in height and slender to medium builds.
“They were in and out in a very short amount of time,” Lyons said. “About 90 seconds after they were out of the surveillance camera’s range, a dark colored pickup truck was seen traveling in the direction of where we found the getaway car. It’s either dark blue or black and a Chevy or GMC model. Something to note, the left rear tire rim was black instead of chrome. Maybe it was a spare tire,” Lyons explained.
According to Lyons, officers had noticed the two suspects prior to the robbery. Other surveillance video from local businesses put the two men on foot on Mulberry Street near City Hall in Westlake before traveling south onto Sampson Street. They sat on the side of the road near another business as witnessed by a WPD officer and a State Police trooper. “About 15 minutes later they entered the Whitney Bank building,” Lyons said.
The pickup truck is believed to be a possible early 2000s model GMC or Chevrolet with an extended cab. It was seen driving east on St. John Bosco Street after the robbery toward the area where the getaway vehicle was found.
The first suspect is described as wearing a white long sleeve shirt over a black hoodie and dark blue or back jeans, possibly Dickie brand. He was wearing dark blue or black Converse tennis shoes and had a dark colored ball cap with what appears to be the “Realtree” emblem on front. He was wearing dark glasses at the time of the holdup and had thick leather gloves on. He was also wearing a green face shield with paisley print cloth that covered his face and neck.
The second suspect was wearing a red long sleeve shirt with blue jeans and dark colored tennis shoes. He had a camouflage colored ball cap with dark colored safety glasses or sun glasses. He also had a dark colored face shield with paisley print covering his face and neck.
Any information regarding this crime, the suspects or the dark colored pickup truck can be shared with the Westlake Police Department Criminal Investigations Division (337-433-4151), the Lake Charles office of the FBI (337-433-6353), the Louisiana State Police (337-491-2903) or Crime Stoppers (337-439-2222.