Parking garage adds more security after armed robbery - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Parking garage adds more security after armed robbery

Perkins Rowe Shopping Center Perkins Rowe Shopping Center
Roydriecus Harris (Source: East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office) Roydriecus Harris (Source: East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office)
DeMarcus Brown DeMarcus Brown

By Tyana Williams - bio | email

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A Baton Rouge parking garage will now have an added security guard inside after a woman was robbed at gunpoint Saturday night. The victim warns others to always remain on alert when walking around alone.

According to officials with the Perkins Rowe shopping center, security patrols the parking deck from time to time, but now a stationary guard will be in place. Perkins Rowe is thought of as a play land for people. Shopping, food and entertainment are all within walking distance. However, for one 21-year-old woman, the so-called paradise became a place of pain. To hide her true identity, the victim will be referred to as "Ashley."

"Got in my car, locked my doors; I never typically do that, but I just…something didn't feel right," Ashley said. "Next thing I know, there's two males on both sides of my car and they knock on my window with a gun, shaking door handle, asking me to get out of the car."

She instead stayed in the car and through the crack in her window Ashley said she tossed out $35 and drove away quickly. Witnesses led deputies with the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office to two 18-year-old suspects. Perkins Rowe said it uses off-duty deputies for security, as well as a private security company. Officials say safety is their top priority.

"I guess I just look like an easy target because I was a young girl walking by myself, you know," Ashley added. "I'm alone all the time. You just don't think that can happen to you. I'm really trustworthy. You don't want to assume that somebody is up to something, but you got to be cautious."

For security reasons, officials would not say whether or not there are security cameras around Perkins Rowe. Last month, a financial service company in Michigan filed a lawsuit against Perkins Rowe and developer Tommy Spinosa. The lawsuit stated the financial company was owed $1.3 million on unpaid security equipment, like cameras and monitors. Calls to the attorneys involved in that case were not returned.

Deputies arrested Roydriecus Harris and DeMarcus Brown in connection with the robbery. Both were still inside the parking garage when the deputies arrived to investigate. Both were charged with armed robbery, but Harris faces an additional charge of illegal possession of a firearm. Deputies recovered what they believe was the gun used in the robbery. It was reported stolen in 2009.

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