After early morning crime spree, robbery suspects arrested

This story was published in The Advocate on April 19, 2012. 

By Adam Lau, The Advocate

Three men were left begging for their lives this week after an armed duo confronted them at gunpoint in separate incidents in the dark, early morning hours outside their Shenandoah homes.

“I was frightened out of my mind,” said Sidney Deloach, 72, who was pistol-whipped and knocked to the ground by the men as he returned home from buying a newspaper about 4:30 a.m. Thursday.

“They both had their guns pointed straight at my head, no more than four or five inches from my head, saying, ‘I’m gonna shoot you,’ ” Deloach said.

Sheriff’s detectives believe the armed duo who threatened to kill Deloach and two other men also broke into as many as 30 cars within a one-mile radius in the Shenandoah subdivision between Wednesday and Thursday, according to affidavits of probable cause filed by the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff’s deputies arrested the two men Thursday during a traffic stop of the white four-door Chevy Impala that matched one of the victim’s descriptions of the robbers’ getaway car.

Both men — Eric Robertson, 18, 6874 Hanks Drive, and Demontrey Fisher, 20, 1612 Cedar Lake Lane — were arrested and booked on counts of attempted first-degree murder, armed robbery and simple burglary, according to the affidavits.

Booking records show that Robertson was also booked on counts of criminal damage to property, theft of a firearm and theft of a motor vehicle. Meanwhile, Fisher was also booked on counts of possession of schedule one drugs, felon in possession of a firearm, resisting an officer and possession of a firearm with drugs.

Interviews with the victims paint a horrifying picture of the robbers’ early morning crime spree on Thursday.

About 4:30 a.m., after the robbers injured Deloach and took his wallet outside his house in the 5200 block of Bluewater Drive, the affidavit states, they ran around the corner to the 5400 block of Springwater Drive, a dead-end street, where a 52-year-old mechanic was leaving his house to go to work.

The mechanic, Doug Devorde, had noticed an unfamiliar white Chevy Impala parked across the street, as well as signs his truck had been broken into — a light was left on, and the passenger seat was moved.

He called out to the two men as they approached the Impala: “Hey, what are you doing in this neighborhood at this time of the morning?”

The men froze. Devorde walked down his driveway toward the men, repeating his question, until he was about 15 feet away from them.

Suddenly both men withdrew semi-automatic pistols and pointed them at Devorde.

“Back down,” said the man on the driver’s side of the Impala. “Back down.”

“You want me to cap him?” asked the man on the passenger side. “You want me to shoot him?”

As Devorde retreated toward his house, his 27-year-old son opened the front door to leave for work. Devorde yelled for him to call the police.

Suddenly, both men fired their guns, Devorde said. He and his son ducked to escape the spray of bullets.

As the men sped off in the Impala, they fired six to eight more rounds at Devorde’s house, shattering a kitchen window and striking chairs in his living room.

Sheriff’s deputies recovered two .45-caliber and three 9mm bullet casings from the scene, the affidavit states.

“Thank goodness they were bad shots,” Devorde said.

“I hope they find those guys,” he said. “I would like to tell them how close they came to ending my life right there yesterday morning just being stupid running through the neighborhood and robbing people.”

A day earlier, a similar scene — that sheriff’s detectives link to the same two suspects — played out just blocks away from Devorde’s house.

About 5:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, a man was leaving his house in the 14300 block of Wilson Way when two men approached, pointing semi-automatic pistols at him, and yelling, “Give me your wallet,” according to an affidavit.

The victim threw one of the robbers his wallet, which had $3 inside.

The robber told his accomplice to kill the victim, the affidavit says.

The victim “started begging” the robber not to kill him, the affidavit says. The victim asked the robbers what they wanted, offering them the keys to his car.

The robbers fled, still pointing their pistols at the victim, the affidavit says.

On Thursday, the victim’s neighbor gave sheriff’s detectives a surveillance video that captured the robbers leaving the scene in a dark-colored two-door car.

The car had stolen items inside and was, itself, determined to be stolen from Ascension Parish, the affidavit says. Deputies recovered the car in the Gardere area, the affidavit says.

Deputies matched the two suspects, Fisher and Robertson, to the robbery because when they were stopped in the white Impala, officers found a silver 9mm semi-automatic pistol that matched the description provided by the victims, the affidavit says.

Deputies added that the suspects fit the victims’ descriptions.

The victims said they were shocked by the crime spree in what is ordinarily a safe neighborhood in the southeastern portion of the parish.

“This is usually a good neighborhood,” Devorde said. “I’ve been living here for 26 years and for the most part, it’s pretty quiet.”

Deloach said he can remember a time when he would leave his front door unlocked.

“Now I’m very very scared,” Deloach said.

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