VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – A 29-year-old Suffolk man pleaded guilty Monday and was sentenced for three counts each of Robbery and Use of Firearm and one count of Attempted Robbery.
According to court documents, Latabus Lemont Mann committed four armed robberies of citizens as they attempted to use ATMs at Virginia Beach banks between December 24, 2015 and January 10, 2016.
Mann wore a mask during each robbery and either showed a gun or implied he had one.
On December 24, a woman was in her car in the parking lot of the Navy Federal Credit Union on Salem Road. She was about to make a deposit and had cash in her lap. Mann approached her car on foot and began to open her passenger door, but she screamed and drove off. A witness saw Mann walk through a nearby neighborhood and get into a pick-up truck. The witness provided a description of the truck to police.
On December 29, Mann robbed another woman who was attempting to withdraw money at the ATM at the same bank. He made off with $200.
On January 5, Mann again robbed a woman who was depositing money at the same bank. The woman’s granddaughter was by the car at the curb and yelled to Mann, “Please don’t do that!” He took $25.00 and ran away.
An officer in the area heard the robbery report go out over police radio and observed a truck driven by a person matching Mann’s description. The truck matched the description of the one possibly involved in the December 24 robbery. The officer got a license plate number but was unable to investigate further because he was dispatched to another call.
On January 10, Mann robbed a man who was withdrawing money from the ATM at the Wells Fargo on Kempsville Road. He made off with $240. A witness to this robbery followed Mann as he ran through a shopping center, got into a truck, and drove off. The witness provided police with a partial license plate number, and it was part of the same license plate number observed by the officer after the January 5 robbery.
Once it was determined that the pick-up truck was driven in several robberies, an officer with the Virginia Beach Police Department drove around the area of the robberies looking for the truck. He ultimately found the truck in the parking lot of a Days Inn hotel in Norfolk, just over the Virginia Beach border.
Mann was found to be a registered guest at the hotel and the truck was registered to his room. He was apprehended as he left the hotel and started to get into the truck. A handgun was recovered from his pocket. In his truck, police found masks described by the victims. Mann confessed to the robberies when interviewed by detectives.
Mann pleaded guilty to the charges in court. He was sentenced to 48 years in prison with 33 years suspended, leaving 15 years to serve.