Aug 20, 2010 2:15 PM by Kate Mundy

Reward Offered for Serial Bank Robber


David W. Welker, Special Agent in Charge of the New Orleans Division of the FBI announced a reward of up to $20,000 is being offered for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of a serial bank robber dubbed the "Bayou Bandit".

The FBI and local authorities are looking into the possibility that a serial bank robber is responsible for the robbery of the following eleven banks since March 2010:

-Jeff Davis Bank, Jennings, LA- March 1, 2010

-Whitney National Bank, Sulphur, LA- April 26, 2010

-First Bank of Crowley, Crowley, LA- July 8, 2010

-Rayne State Bank and Trust, Rayne, Louisiana- July 8, 2010

-International Bank of Commerce, Ardmore, OK- June 23, 2010

-BankFirst, Marietta, OK- June 24, 2010

-First United Bank, Pauls Valley, OK- July 17, 2010

-First Federal Bank, Fayetteville, AR- July 29, 2010

-Pioneer Bank, Carlsbad, NM- August 5, 2010

-Western Commerce Bank, Carlsbad, NM- August 5, 2010

-Regions Bank, Natchez, MS- August 16, 2010

The suspect, described as a white male, 40-50 years old, approximately 5'10- 6' tall, with an average build, typically enters the bank and presents a note to the teller demanding money. The unknown suspect has worn a baseball hat, dark sunglasses, and a dark-colored shirt.

Lamar Advertising will be running the suspect's photo on digital billboards in an attempt to identify the bank robber.

LAFAYETTE - A federal magistrate judge Thursday agreed to allow suspended Gueydan Fire Chief Lindsey T. LeBlanc to stay in his parent's custody in Mermentau while awaiting trial on federal child sex charges.

Magistrate C. Michael Hill issued his ruling following a detention hearing that featured testimony from Herbert LeBlanc, LeBlanc's father; and Michael Touchet, a senior agent with Homeland Security Investigations.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Luke Walker had asked Hill to hold LeBlanc without bail after a federal grand jury last week charged LeBlanc with two counts of attempting to receive child pornography and one count of attempting to coerce a minor to engage in criminal sexual acts.

Touchet, the case agent, testified that LeBlanc, 1739 Third St., Gueydan, engaged in chats with two undercover officers posing as 14-year-old girls.

Touchet said the undercover officers, at one point, saw LeBlanc, 43, masturbating on a webcam and noted that LeBlanc was wearing his fire chief polo shirt and appeared to be in his office at the Gueydan Fire Department.

Touchet said LeBlanc declined to ever schedule a meeting because he feared getting caught. He said officers engaged in six chats with LeBlanc between 2009 and 2010.

"Did he ask the undercover officers to send naked pictures of themselves to him?" Assistant U.S. Attorney Luke Walker asked.

"Yes, he did," Touchet replied.

Touchet testified that when investigators searched the Gueydan Fire Department, they found a pornographic web page open on his work computer. He later testified that he was unaware of whether the website portrayed minors. He said there also were no photos on the page.

Touchet said that LeBlanc confessed when questioned by authorities.

"He said he had a problem and he needed help," Touchet said.

Touchet was represented Thursday by two attorneys, Burton P. Guidry and Randal P. McCann.

McCann said that only one of the chats ever involved a discussion about a meeting and that LeBlanc never devised a   plan to meet.


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