Sheriff Mike Byrd this morning identified Cuong V. Pham, 29, as the suspect in an armed robbery of K & J Coin Lauundry on Lemoyne Boulevard in the St. Martin community.
Pham is believed to have fled the state since the robbery Monday morning, Byrd said.
Authorities said Pham entered the store armed with a weapon and tied up the clerk with duct tape. A struggle followed, Byrd said, in what was believed to an attempted sexual assault against the victim.
When the business telephone rang, the sheriff said the woman was able to knock it off the receiver, alerting the caller to inform authorities of a possible crime.
A witness followed the suspect's vehicle and called authorities, but the suspect ditched his vehicle at Langley Point before stealing his brother-in-law's black 1997 Dodge Ram pickup truck with the Mississippi license plate number JH1 684.
To report information on Pham's whereabouts, call the Jackson County Sheriff's Department at 769-3063 or Crime Stoppers at 877-787-5898.