NPSO: SHREVEPORT MAN WITH TIES TO NATCHITOCHES PARISH WANTED BY TEXAS AND LOUSIANA AUTHORITIES IN CONNECTION WITH JEWELRY STORE HEISTS ARRESTED BY NPSO DEPUTIES DURING I-49 STOP NEAR CYPRESS
(Cypress)-A Shreveport man with ties to Natchitoches Parish wanted in connection with a Texas jewelry store heist and other similar crimes in central and north Louisiana was arrested during a traffic stop on Interstate-49 near Cypress on Wednesday morning according to Natchitoches Parish Sheriff Stuart Wright.
On July 1, 2022, at approximately 1:25 pm, Longview Police Officers responded to a reported robbery at Kay Jewelers in the Longview Mall in Longview, Texas.
Longview Police learned during the investigation, that a man and woman “posed as customers by walking up to the jewelry counter and began looking at jewelry”.
A man later identified as 39-year-old Lester Ray Moody of Shreveport allegedly reached into his pocket, pulled out a can of pepper spray, and sprayed the employee.
Moody and an unidentified female ran out of a nearby store with an undisclosed amount of jewelry.
Longview Police detectives gathered information and continued the investigation which included reviewing business surveillance video.
That would later lead to a positive identification of Moody.
Longview Police released images of Moody to the public for assistance in mid-July.
As the investigation progressed, Longview Police learned that some of the possible stolen jewelry had been sold at a local Natchitoches Pawn Shop.
Detectives with the NPSO High Tech Crime Unit went to and with the assistance of the cooperating pawn shop confirmed the expensive piece of jewelry was taken in the Longview robbery.
Detectives also gathered additional evidence at the pawnshop confirming Moody pawned the jewelry.
Detectives collected the jewelry for evidence.
NPSO Detectives obtained sufficient evidence and probable cause to secure criminal warrants signed by a 10th Judicial District Court Judge for the arrest of Moody.
The investigation continued with NPSO Detectives learning that Moody had been arrested in Rapides Parish on a similar offense and that he was wanted in Richland Parish for Armed Robbery of a Jewelry Store, and a Person of Interest in Jewelry Store robbery in Morehouse Parish.
Detectives would continue networking with Texas and Louisiana law enforcement agencies gathering intelligence information on Moody pertinent to their investigations.
On Wednesday morning August 10, NPSO Detective Sgt. V. Kay was traveling on La. Hwy 1 near Cypress when he observed Moody and an unidentified female at a local business.
Detective Kay would conduct stationary surveillance of Moody requesting assistance from patrol deputies.
Shortly thereafter Moody and the female would leave the business and as they were entering I-49 at Cypress, deputies initiated a traffic stop stopping them.
Deputies arrested Moody without incident.
The female was released at the scene.
*Lester Ray Moody, 39, of the 3400 block of Plesant Drive, Shreveport, La. was transported and booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center charged with 1-Count of Felony Robbery in Longview, Texas, 1-Count of Armed Robbery in Richland Parish, 2-Counts of Theft by Fraud in Natchitoches Parish, and 2 Warrants from Natchitoches Police Department.
Other charges are pending in Morehouse Parish.
Moody remains in the Natchitoches Detention Center with holds from Texas, Richland, and Morehouse Parishes.
This is an ongoing investigation.
By being alert and paying attention to his surroundings, Detective Kay may have prevented other robberies from being committed in central and north Louisiana.
We commend Detective Kay, Detective Giannone, and patrol deputies for their assistance during this arrest.
If you have any information contact NPSO High Tech Crime Unit Detectives Michael Giannone or Sgt. Victor Kay at 318-357-7811.