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Fifth suspect in Haughton robbery nabbed in south LA

Published: Mar. 19, 2016 at 2:59 AM CDT|Updated: Apr. 2, 2016 at 7:06 PM CDT
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(Source: Avoyelles Parish Jail)
(Source: Avoyelles Parish Jail)
(Source: Victoria Shirley/KSLA News 12)
(Source: Victoria Shirley/KSLA News 12)
Christopher Crouch is escorted by Bossier deputies after being taken into custody March 1....
Christopher Crouch is escorted by Bossier deputies after being taken into custody March 1. (Source: Bossier sheriff's Lt. Dave Faulk)

BENTON, LA (KSLA) - A 5th suspect in the armed robbery of a Haughton convenience store in late February has been found in south Louisiana.

Avoyelles sheriff's deputies arrested Megan Michelle Claspell, 24, of the 11000 block of Old Mansfield Road in Keithville, and booked her into the Avoyelles Parish Jail at 12:50 a.m. Saturday. She left the Bossier Parish area Friday and headed to her father's residence in Avoyelles Parish, Bossier sheriff's office spokesman Josh Cagle said.

Claspell's father "apparently saw the news story and turned her in once she was back home," Cagle said.

The Bossier sheriff's office has a warrant to arrest Claspell on 1 count each of armed robbery, accessory after the fact, possession of a Schedule II Controlled Dangerous Substance and possession of drug paraphernalia, a spokesman said.

Earlier this month, sheriff's deputies arrested 4 other people in connection with the holdup at Rogers Corner Store. Among them was Austin Holt, whom authorities say is Claspell's boyfriend.

About 10:25 a.m. Feb. 29, a man armed with a handgun demanded money from a clerk at the store at U.S. Highway 80 at Louisiana Highway 157. He left with an undetermined amount of cash and got into a 1999 Toyota Camry being driven by a female. Detectives suspect they headed west on Hwy. 80.

Initially, investigators were only looking for 2 people - the gunman and the female who was driving the late 1990s or early 2000s gray Toyota sedan.

Early the morning of March 1, patrol deputies stopped a car on Highway 71 at Sligo Road that authorities say appeared to be the vehicle used in the armed robbery. It was being driven by Kimberly Holt, 41, of the 300 block of Bayou Loop.

She and passenger Austin Holt, 22, of the same address, were taken in for questioning. It's then that detectives determined that the car was owned by Kimberly Holt and allegedly was used by her friends Christopher Crouch, 22, and Britnie Sample, 25, both of Texas, in committing the armed robbery.

About 1:15 p.m. March 1, Sample was taken into custody while walking near the residence on Bayou Loop in the Plantation Acres Mobile Home Community.

Two hours later, the sheriff's office SWAT team deployed to the same residence in search of Crouch, whom authorities considered armed and dangerous. Crouch reportedly had been staying there with a friend for a couple of days.

Patrol deputies asked some nearby residents to evacuate their homes, and sheriff's office school resource officers held back school buses.

When Crouch did not respond to attempts to contact him, the SWAT team deployed chemical agents about 3:30 p.m. and he was taken into custody. Detectives say a search of the residence turned up methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.

  • Crouch faces 1 count each of armed robbery, resisting arrest, possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.
  • Sample is charged with 1 count each of armed robbery, possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.
  • Kimberly Holt was booked on 1 count each of accessory after the fact to armed robbery, theft of a motor vehicle, possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.
  • Austin Holt faces 1 count each of accessory after the fact to armed robbery, possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Authorities urge anyone with knowledge of Claspell's whereabouts to call the Bossier sheriff's office at (318) 965-2203.

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