ATM theft update

By Major Jerry Bell

Around 3 a.m. early morning, on Tuesday, Oct, 12, the DeQuincy Police dispatcher received a call from a concerned citizen that the ATM machine at B1 Bank was being robbed. Lt. Loy Bader was dispatched along with Captain Doug Phillips to the scene. Apparently, Lt. Bader arrived about a minute behind the theft. Major Jerry Bell along with Chief Casey Whitehead and Asst. Chief Roy Williams were also notified.

The witness was interviewed, and camera feed was obtained. A vehicle leaving the scene with a Washington State License plate was identified as being the get-away vehicle. A truck was left at the scene that had previously been stolen in Houston, Texas. It became apparent early on, this was an organized group that had committed this theft.

The Washington State License plate was quickly identified as belonging to a Javon D. Schoffield from Houston, Texas. Major Jerry Bell contacted his CID contacts and ascertained that this person had been in Washington and that he had been discharged from the U.S. Military in 2020 and had apparently moved to Houston. Officer Carlee Burnett did research and assisted the Detectives with information about Schoffield which was very critical for the investigation.

At this time, the DeQuincy police had no information to reference previous ATM thefts but quickly notified other law enforcement agencies about Schoffield and the get-away car. This information quickly got to a task force that was working numerous ATM robberies. Chief Whitehead appointed Captain Phillips and Lt. Bader as the lead investigators in this matter.

The Louisiana State Police, the Calcasieu Sheriff’s Office, and other agencies were able to arrest Schoffield and two of his accomplices right after they had done an ATM theft in Covington. During the take down of the SUV, they located clothing, a ski mask, a firearm, and money that had just been stolen. All three of the subjects were booked into the Calcasieu Parish jail with $475,000 bonds, set by Judge Davis. St. Tammany Parish officials placed a hold on the three subjects for the ATM theft in Covington.

In the meantime, Captain Phillips is obtaining DNA samples, phone information, and other evidence for our case. Captain Phillips is getting a warrant on Schoffield and as soon as more evidence becomes available, Captain Phillips will obtain a warrant on his two accomplices and then place a hold for our case.

Chief Whitehead commented that with the three subjects apparently armed, it was probably best that Lt. Bader arrived a minute later, which could have saved his life. Chief Whitehead also commented that this is also one of the main reasons why there should always be two officers on at night.

The chief also wants to thank the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Unit for their valuable help. The witness that called the Police Dept. also is to be commended. This was a team effort from the whole department to stop gangster thieves from coming from a large city to attack our community.

Other information obtained during the initial investigation was that this was a large gang working out of Houston, Texas and that part of the gang’s territory was Louisiana. Further that the gang had numerous resources, bragged frequently about robbing ATMs, and believed that they never would be caught.

The time that it took the three subjects to rob the B1 Bank ATM was one minute and thirty-three seconds. All that they had to do was wait until our officer was on the other side of town. This was how well organized these criminals were. Perhaps the mistake made was coming to DeQuincy and thinking that they were going to get away with the theft. The DeQuincy Police has been successful in resolving a bank robbery and an ATM theft at this bank.

Chief Whitehead encourages all businesses to have decent cameras placed where vehicle information can be obtained. Most of our criminals commit their crimes and then leave town. With vehicle information, DeQuincy detectives stands a better chance of solving the cases.