Washington Parish Sheriff's Office detectives have been working hard this summer to solve a June armed robbery which occurred at a business on Highway 38 in Mt. Hermon. At closing time, armed mask men came out of hiding from outside the business. They encountered an employee who was in the parking lot, forcing the employee back into the business at gunpoint. Employees were forced to open the safe, allowing the robbers to take all the cash inside as well as other merchandise from inside the store. The robbers then fled in an unknown direction in their waiting vehicle.
Washington Parish Sheriff's Office patrol deputies initially responded to the scene, then turned the matter over to the detective division which was able to view video footage from another area business and obtain a vehicle description and direction of travel. With that bit of evidence, detectives traveled back and forth to Mississippi and Tangipahoa Parish attempting to solve the crime. Eventually, three suspects were identified.
During the investigation, one of the suspects committed a residential burglary in Tangipahoa Parish, but was interrupted by the homeowner who shot and killed the burglar.
The other two suspects, who committed other crimes after the Washington Parish armed robbery, have been identified and captured. Ranel Houma Brumfield, 24, a resident of Kentwood, is currently incarcerated in the Tangipahoa Parish Jail on other charges. Lat'eisha Smith, 24, a resident of Osyka, Mississippi, is currently incarcerated in the Pike County, Mississippi, Jail on other charges.
Each man will be brought back to Washington Parish to face armed robbery charges.
Washington Parish Sheriff Randy Seal said, "These robbers are dangerous persons who have earned the privilege of spending many, many years behind bars. Their heinous actions traumatized the innocent business employees who looked down the barrel of a gun, not knowing what their fate would be. Thankfully, no employee was physically harmed. I am grateful for the hard work of our detective division, as well as the assistance of the Tangipahoa Parish and Pike County Sheriff’s Offices.”