Crime

5 wanted in Bay armed robbery arrested in Florida after robbery there

ESCAMBIA COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE 
 Ryan Cheney and Michelle Gagne
ESCAMBIA COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE Ryan Cheney and Michelle Gagne

Authorities have arrested five people from New Hampshire in armed robberies in Bay St. Louis on Tuesday and Pensacola on Wednesday.

Ryan Cheney, 40; Michelle Gagne, 36; Hunter Lafoe, 18; and two teens were taken into custody Friday by the Escambia County, Fla., Sheriff's Office.

The Escambia County SWAT team entered a hotel about 3:30 p.m. and took three people into custody -- Lafoe, a 16-year-old and 17-year-old, officials said.

Cheney and Gagne, Cheney's girlfriend, were arrested about 5 p.m., Sheriff David Morgan said.

Shots were fired -- by Cheney, police believe -- during the Wednesday-night robbery at a Raceway gas station but no one was wounded, Morgan said.

In Bay St. Louis, the clerk at Gas and Go service station on Mississippi 603 south of Interstate 10 had reported two men walked into the store about 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, asked for cigarettes, then pulled out a handgun, Bay Police Chief Mike De Nardo told the Sun Herald.

They left with an undisclosed amount of cash, he said, and headed toward a nearby store, Gator's Quick Stop. Surveillance footage from the second store showed the men leaving in what appeared to be a U-Haul van.

De Nardo said the vehicle was a U-Haul Ford Transit 250 with an Arizona license plate, and police contacted U-Haul to determine who had rented and where.

Detectives Lt. James Burch and Sgt. Austin Stanton determined the people were from New Hampshire and contacted the Tilton Police Department, which is near Concord. Tilton police said they were wanted for questioning in criminal activity in their area, and provided photos of them.

The detectives were able to identify them after talking to the law enforcement officers and people who had come in contact with them.

De Nardo said after releasing the names of three adults Friday, police received a call from Escambia County saying Lafoe and one of the teens had been arrested.

Anyone with more information is asked to contact Bay police at 228-467-9222, the U.S. Marshals Service at 601-608-6800, Mississippi Coast Crime Stoppers at 1-877-787-5898 or your local law enforcement agency.

"I want all our visitors to our area to know we welcome you to our area and want you to have a safe and enjoyable time," De Nardo said in the press release, "but if you plan on committing crimes while you are here we will use every avenue as we did in this case to hunt you down and bring you to justice."

Hancock County Sheriff's Office and the U.S. Marshals Service assisted the investigation.

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