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Accused Louisiana robber identified by tattoo, bike on video

The sentence following a conviction for armed robbery in Louisiana depends on multiple factors. A severe punishment, even life imprisonment, is possible when other convictions, especially violent crimes, are in your past. Other factors are the value of stolen property and injuries inflicted, if any, upon victims.

An Opelousas man was arrested at his home after police discovered a bag of cash containing $12,000, about $2,000 less than the amount that was stolen from a Scott bank the previous day. The 59-year-old man might not have been found at all, if it wasn't for someone identifying a bicycle and a tattoo in a surveillance video.

Authorities said the defendant hoped to trick them. The man allegedly stowed a bicycle in a car's trunk, parked the car out of camera range and used the bike as a temporary getaway vehicle. Police think the reported robber wanted officials to think the crime was committed by a local resident.

Reports said a man used a gun to force a teller to fill a cloth bag with money. The cameras captured video of a man wearing a bandana peddling away. The bicycle was later abandoned. The money that was missing from the recovered bag allegedly funded the defendant's trip to a casino.

The video, splashed across the new channels, provided no clues until an Opelousas viewer recognized the bicycle and the rider's tattoo. The man taken into custody had several prior felony convictions, with robbery among them. He had been in prison until July.

Alleged threats and the use of force, like a weapon, are the difference between a felony charge of robbery and larceny. Prosecution is aggressive for violent crimes and widely covered by the media. Louisiana's minimum sentence for armed robbery is a 10-year prison term with no chance of early release.

A formidable criminal defense is needed to keep from adding decades to a robbery sentence.

Source: theadvocate.com, "Police nab bicycle-riding bank robber" Billy Gunn, Oct. 08, 2013

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