ATM robbery was third in that location

Published 12:00 pm Thursday, December 17, 2015

Louis Bourgeois has experienced a lot of wonderful things while living in Oxford for the past 19 years. Moving from Baton Rouge in 1997 to escape big city life and big city crime, he enjoyed the quiet, safe community Oxford provided.

Until Tuesday night, anyway, when he claims he was held up at gunpoint at an ATM machine at Region’s Bank on West Jackson Avenue while his 12-year-daughter sat in the car just a few feet away.

In an interview with the EAGLE Wednesday, Bourgeois said he had left Walmart with his daughter at about 6:30 p.m. and stopped at the ATM to get some cash when he heard a voice coming from a few feet behind him, telling him to take out $500.

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“I did a half turn and I see a man pointing a very large silver pistol at me,” Bourgeois said.

Before walking up to the ATM, he recalled seeing a white truck with a younger, white male standing nearby.

“He looked like he was hunched over a bit or something,” Bourgeois said, ‘but I didn’t pay him too much attention.”

After taking out the money, Bouregeois said he laid the money down on the ground and ran off to his vehicle, jumped in and sped away, heading to the Oxford Police Department.

“I assumed, the two were together and was afraid they were about to chase me down,” Bouregeois said. “It didn’t make much sense but I was just worried about getting my daughter and myself away from there and to the police.”

While at the police station, the white male walked in shortly after and things started to make more sense to Bouregeois.

“He was robbed too but I guess he only had $20 which wasn’t enough for this other guy so he held him there, like a hostage, so he couldn’t leave and call the cops until someone, me, came along to give him more money.”

Both men described the robber as a black male of medium height with a dark-colored hoodie and a red bandana covering his face.

Oxford Police Department Maj. Jeff McCutchen said a third robbery occurred at the same ATM last week on Thursday night around midnight.

“We are not sure if the suspects are the same but the M.O. is the same as well as victims reporting that it was a black male in dark clothing with a red bandana,” he said this morning.

No arrests have been made as of this morning and the suspect is considered armed and dangerous.

Bourgeois blames the spike in Oxford’s population of the last few years.

“You cannot have a town grow that quickly without some falling out, and that being criminal activity,” he said. “When I moved here, I felt a sense of well-being I didn’t feel growing up. All the pressure of watching your back, afraid someone might stab you was gone. I’ve never had someone steal anything from me and I hardly locked my doors. But that’s all changed now.”

Bourgeois is the founder of the VOX Press’ Prison Writes Initiative that works with state prisoners to hone their reading and writing skills. The prisoners write stories about their lives and are published by VOX Press in Prison Narratives.

The irony doesn’t escape Bourgeois.

“People have asked me if this changed my opinion about the program and it definitely has not,” he said.

OPD is asking anyone with information about the robberies to call 662-232-2400 or Crimestoppers at 662-234-8477.