July 05, 2024

One Arrested, One Sought for ATM Robbery Near Covington

St Tammany Parish Sheriff’s detectives have issued warrants for the arrests of two New Orleans men in connection with an armed robbery which occurred on June 28, 2024 at an ATM outside a bank on Highway 21 near Covington.

As they began their investigation, detectives determined the crime was connected to similar robberies committed on the Southshore and in the city limits of Mandeville. Since then they have been working closely with detectives in all of the jurisdictions involved.

On Wednesday (July 3, 2024), deputies with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office observed a vehicle matching the description of the one being used in the robberies outside a bank in their jurisdiction and attempted a traffic stop. A pursuit ensued, reaching speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour. Several agencies participated in the pursuit, which ended when the vehicle crashed inside the city limits of Slidell.

The driver and his passenger both fled the vehicle on foot.  A search involving K9s from STPSO, JPSO and Slidell Police, resulted in the passenger being located in a nearby wooden area. Vondell Newsome, age 26 and of New Orleans, was taken into custody and booked into the Jefferson Parish Jail. 

STPSO detectives have obtained warrants for the arrests of Newsome for Armed Robbery and Misdemeanor Flight. Warrants have also been obtained for the arrests of the driver, Leonard Earl Howard III, age 20 and of New Orleans, for Armed Robbery, Aggravated flight, Aggravated Obstruction of a Highway and Resisting an Officer.  He is still being sought by law enforcement. Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to contact the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office at (985) 898-2338.

“Our detectives have been working closely with detectives in Mandeville and on the Southshore,” Sheriff Randy Smith said. “It is because of these good working relationships that detectives are able to share information and resources, which results in criminals like these being identified and subsequently arrested.”

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