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Bastrop Daily Enterprise - Bastrop, LA
  • Authorities believe bank robberies connected

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  • A suspect in custody in connection with Monday's City Savings Bank robbery in Leesville is now being accused of involvement with the Dec. 2 First Federal Bank robbery in DeRidder.
    This latest development has resulted in the release of Patrick Michael Peterson, who was the initial suspect in the DeRidder bank robbery and had been jailed on a charge of simple robbery since Dec. 4.
    DeRidder Police Chief John Gott said that after the City Savings Bank was robbed on Monday, Leesville Police reached out to DPD because of the similarities between the two robberies. On Wednesday, Michael Jones, 26, of DeRidder, was arrested and charged with one count of armed robbery in connection with the Leesville bank robbery.
    Following Jones's arrest, doubt was raised about Peterson's involvement with the DeRidder bank robbery, Gott said.
    "DeRidder Police Department officers contacted the Beauregard Parish District Attorney's office and requested [Peterson's] immediate release from jail," Gott said. "We have recently obtained arrest warrants for Mr. Jones for the robbery here in DeRidder."
    Jones's bond for his charges in the Leesville robbery total $200,000, while his bond in connection with the DeRidder bank robbery totals $250,000.
    The investigation is ongoing, and anyone with information is encouraged to contact the DeRidder Police Department at (337) 462-8911.
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