Shoe purchase turns to armed robbery

Two local men were arrested for armed robbery after pretending they were going to buy some shoes from a man who turned into a victim, according to a press release from Picayune Police Department Assistant Police Chief James Bolton.


On January 8, 2022, at approximately 6:06 p.m., Ryan Bickham came to the Picayune Police Department at 328 South Main Street and reported that he had been robbed on Adcox Road near Cayten Street around 5:30 p.m. Bickham said he went to a duplex apartment where he met with one of the suspects, identified as Leon Lama Washington, age 29, of 802 South Main Street, Picayune. Bickham went to the location with the intention of selling Washington some shoes.


Bickham told authorities that when he arrived at the location, he entered the residence and met Washington inside, where Washington was counting money as if he was going to buy the shoes from Bickham. Bickham said he observed another black male with gold teeth standing behind Washington. The second man was later identified as Cruiz J. Dugas, age 33, of 502 West Street in Picayune.

Leon Lama Washington and Cruiz J. Dugas


According to Bolton, Bickham said Washington pointed a black in color handgun at him with what appeared to be a laser sight. At that time, Bickham stated that Washington took $4,000.00 in cash, an iPhone valued at $800.00, and the pair of Nike Ambush Dunk Shoes valued at $650.00 from him, and then ordered Bickham to leave the residence.


While Bickham was speaking with officers in front of the Police Department, he pointed out a blue in color Mercury Grand Marquis with Washington as a passenger in it as the vehicle was passing by the Police Department. Soon after Bickham had pointed out the car with Washington in it, officers were able to stop the vehicle on Jarrell Street near Southside Street according to Assistant Chief Bolton.


At this time, Bolton’s release states the officers were able to identify Dugas as the driver and Washington as the passenger in the said vehicle. Officers were able to smell the odor of burnt Marijuana coming from inside of the vehicle, and proceeded to conduct a probable cause search of the vehicle.


During the search, officers located a black in color handgun with a laser sight matching the description given earlier by Bickham. Officers were able to later determine the handgun to be stolen. Officers also located a small amount of Marijuana in the vehicle, and $8,520.00 in U.S. currency from Washington’s person. Bickham told officers that Washington was wearing an ankle bracelet and a white shirt during the robbery.


Officers placed Washington and Dugas under arrest for Armed Robbery, and Possession of Marijuana. Washington was additionally booked for Possession of Weapon by Felon, Possession of a Stolen Firearm, and Possession of a Stolen Firearm while in the Commission of a Crime.


Both subjects were transported to the Pearl River County Jail in Millard, where they were booked and incarcerated according to Assistant Chief Bolton.

@WRJW