A Lafayette man is being charged with the armed robbery of Blake’s Pharmacy, which occurred June 22, according to Ville Platte detective Lt. Craig Nicholas.
Duane Mahne, 40, 808 Broadmoar Blvd., Lafayette, is facing charges of armed robbery with a weapon, theft of cash over $500 and theft of a controlled drug valued over $500 in Evangeline Parish. Mahne is suspected of performing at least 19 to 20 robberies across Acadiana and is being charged in several jurisdictions.
Chief Neal Lartigue said Mahne will face charges here as well as in those other jurisdictions. He said as one department finishes with Mahne or when Mahne makes bail, he will be transferred to the next department. Mahne’s bond has been set at $250,000 in Evangeline Parish by 13th Judicial District Judge Tom Fuselier. At the moment, Mahne is in DEA’s custody, Lartigue said, for an investigation that agency is conducting.
“He’s confessed to our robbery,” Lartigue said.
“All his clothing was found including the clothes he had on the day he robbed Blake’s,” Nicholas added. “We even found the gun.” Authorities also recovered the vehicle he allegedly used in this robberies and impounded it.
Mahne allegedly entered Blake’s on MacArthur June 20, shortly after 3 p.m. and produced a gun. He went behind the counter and had an employee put money into a bag and then he took a large amount of narcotics before leaving on foot.
As the local police department’s investigation was conducted, Nicholas said “We strongly believe he was in another pharmacy in Ville Platte approximately a month before he robbed Blake’s.
“We have to thank DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) and surrounding parishes and departments,” Lartigue said. He commended his department’s investigators, because he said they never stopped looking for the person responsible. “They did a good job. They did not give up. They stayed on top until it was solved.”
Lartigue said this investigation was definitely teamwork. He said as a group effort, his department as well as the agencies joined efforts to solve this case. Around the office, he said this robbery, like the carjacking case (which occurred Monday, June 16, and resulted in two arrests), never grew cold. Both cases were discussed daily as information was gathered.
Lartigue also reminded residents to not leave purses, cell phones, gaming devices, etc. in their vehicles. There have been several vehicle break-ins reported recently. He said the public should remember to secure all valuable items. He encouraged residents to continue contacting the department for assistance or with information. He thanked the public for its continued support.