LAFAYETTE — Police have arrested a 52-year-old Lafayette man suspected in the Monday morning bank robbery and bomb threat at a Regions Bank branch.
Lafayette police arrested Michael A. Menard about 9 p.m. when he left his home in the 100 block of South Beadle following several hours of surveillance work, police said in a news release.
A detective who had worked an earlier copper theft case where Menard was considered a person of interest, recognized Menard’s face in photos taken by surveillance cameras at the bank, said Cpl. Paul Mouton, police spokesman.
The bank robbery occurred at a Regions Bank branch at 5711 Johnston St.
In an affidavit for warrant of arrest, detectives wrote that Menard approached a bank teller and placed a black object onto the counter.
Menard then told the teller, “Don’t give me a dye pack or tell anyone or I’ll detonate the bomb,” the affidavit said.
The teller then put about $5,000 into a bag Menard brought with him, the affidavit said.
Later, when the teller and another bank employee were shown a photo lineup, both identified Menard as the bank robber, the affidavit said.
The device was treated as a possible bomb threat; authorities closed portions of the northbound lane of Johnston Street for several hours Monday.
Several businesses around the bank also were evacuated.
Authorities rendered the package safe about three hours later, police said.
The road and affected businesses reopened soon afterward, police have said.
Menard was booked into the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center on one count of armed robbery.
Menard has been arrested at least five times in the past on charges including possession of cocaine, possession of drug paraphernalia and simple burglary, according to records at the Lafayette Parish Courthouse.
He was last arrested in July 2006 on counts of second-offense drug paraphernalia and flight from an officer.
He pleaded guilty in February 2008 to an amended charge of drug paraphernalia and received a six-month prison sentence. The state dismissed the second charge, court records show.