4 Houston men charged in armored car robbery at UH


Federal prosecutors and the FBI on Tuesday announced the arrest of three of four suspects, with detention hearings pending. All are from Houston.

Ronald Dean Richards, Dezmond Lacraig Edwards, Allen Bernard Roundtree and James Van-Gerald Johnson are charged with conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery and with interference with commerce by robbery. Edwards, 24, and Roundtree, 27, were taken into custody late Monday without incident.

Richards, 23, remains at large. His face will be seen on billboards across our area.

Johnson, 30, was previously arrested and also faces a charge of brandishing a firearm during a violent crime.

Investigators say Johnson had a pistol on December 6 at the UH Student Center, where Loomis armored car operators were refilling an ATM. He allegedly forced the pregnant driver from the Loomis vehicle, jumped in and drove away -- taking the cash and later switching vehicles.

The FBI says armored car robberies have been on the rise in our area. In a separate case, a second group of men were just arrested and also are facing federal charges for the attempted robbery of a Garda Cash Logistics armored truck at a Chase Bank in Humble back in October.

"Pursuit will be relentless in these cases where violent crimes are committed against armored car operators," said Robert Hatchett, a senior manager with Garda World. "They are rarely successful; if they are successful, that success is short lived, and we are going to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law."

Richards is considered a fugitive and a warrant remains outstanding for his arrest. Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to contact the FBI at 713-693-5000 or Crimestoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

Crimestoppers will offer a reward up to $5000 for any information leading to his location and arrest. In addition, beginning today, Richards will be featured on Clear Channel Outdoor's Houston area digital billboards. Clear Channel Outdoor is donating the space as a public service to the community.

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